When Terence Newman decided he would accept the two-year, $5-million contract the Cincinnati Bengals were offering, it spoke volumes about the state of the franchise. Newman, who was offered more money by the Oakland Raiders, decided to remain in Cincinnati.
Most people know Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer was a big reason why. Newman played for Zimmer when the two were with the Dallas Cowboys and came to Cincinnati last season to play for his old coach.
Now, after a solid season with the Bengals, Newman decided to remain in stripes for the next two years. A decision, that despite flirting with other organizations or positions, both Zimmer and Newman have in common.
Zimmer has interviewed for head coaching vacancies the past few offseasons, but he has never left Cincinnati. Newman decided he wanted to play for the man that drafted him tweeting:
“I came in with Mike Zimmer and feel it’s only right that I leave as him coaching me. Thanks to Raiders Nation for showing me such love.”
The Newman signing brings depth to the defensive backfield, but it is a big deal for other reasons.
When is the last time you’ve heard a player sign with the Bengals for less money than another team was offering? Cincinnati is continuing to rebuild the culture and this is a testament of that.
Newman doesn’t have many years left, and he took less money to sign with a franchise he thought could win. He re-signed because he liked the culture and wanted to play or Zimmer. It wasn’t long ago when the Bengals could barely sign any free agents, and now they are retaining their guys for less money.
Zimmer’s defenses have finished in the top ten in his past three seasons with the Bengals.
The Newman signing is a step in the right direction and proof that the Bengals could be a contender in the near future.