NFL Free Agent Rumors: Why Terence Newman Is Missing Piece for Bengals

Jessica MarieCorrespondent IIMarch 28, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 13:   Terence Newman #41 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Since Terence Newman visited Cincinnati on March 19, the Bengals have been relatively mum on whether or not they'll get a deal done with him. That being said, if head coach Marvin Lewis' recent comments are any indication, an agreement is imminent.

The Cowboys released Newman after the conclusion of the 2011 season. However, now that he has the opportunity to reunite with Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer—who coached Newman in Dallas from 2003-2006—it looks like more of a certainty than ever.

Lewis, speaking at the owners meetings on Tuesday, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Clarence Hill:

We would love to still add Terence to our football team. As he said, his best years of his career was when he was playing for Mike Zimmer. So he is excited about that opportunity too. Hopefully we will get something concluded here fairly quickly.

Though Newman's numbers have been fairly consistent throughout the course of his nine-year career, his first three years under Zimmer were his most successful.

In 2004, the corner registered four picks, 15 passes defensed and two forced fumbles. Over the course of the four years he played for Zimmer in Dallas, he started in all 64 games, compiling 12 interceptions, 64 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and 242 tackles.

Zimmer, heading into his fifth year on the Bengals' staff, thinks Newman could have success in the Bengals' defense.

He told the Fort-Worth Star Telegram:

I've known Terence for so long. You know, sometimes it's just good for guys to get a change and get a new start on things. I always loved Terence. I always thought he was a good, competitive kid with a lot of ability. I think sometimes you get in different systems and things work out better for you, because it's a better scheme fit or whatever. 

Newman will be 34 at the start of the 2012 season, and his production has dropped off over the past couple of years as he's gotten older. Nevertheless, his familiarity with Zimmer can't be underestimated. He still has the ability to provide a veteran presence, alongside Nate Clements, that can help Brandon Ghee continue to develop.

The Bengals have the opportunity to get great value for a player who is ready and eager to buy into their system and play for a coach who has proven successful in helping him reach his highest potential. Giving Newman another chance to play for Zimmer is a low-risk move that, more likely than not, will pay off.