After a quiet first week of free agency, the Bengals are starting to hit the phones and set up some visits with veterans on the free agent market. After reportedly setting up a visit on Tuesday with former Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers, the team will also be setting up a visit with a veteran offensive tackle this week.
OT Marshall Newhouse to visit the #Bengals this week, per source.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 17, 2014
For those unfamiliar with Newhouse, he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 2011 draft out of TCU. He has played both tackle spots and guard in his three seasons, with 29 starts in his first two seasons--including 16 at left tackle in 2012. He seemed to fall into the Packers' doghouse last season with only two starts last season and was primarily a backup option.
For the Pro Football Focus buffs out there, Newhouse had a ranking near the bottom of 2014 free agent offensive tackles. His -9.7 brings some concern for a team bringing him in, but his 250 snaps played is a much smaller snapshot than that of other players. One such poor performance came where Newhouse was thrown in at guard, which wasn't his primary position, on Thanksgiving against the Lions. Ndamukong Suh had his way with Newhouse that afternoon when the entire Packers team was run out of Ford Field.
It's possible that Newhouse is viewed as a backup solution as depth for the Bengals after they lost Anthony Collins in free agency. Even with the ups and downs in Newhouse's career, there could be some upside given that Newhouse is only 25 years old. There might also be a comfortability factor in that Newhouse was Andy Dalton's left tackle in college.