CINCINNATI, Oh. - The Bengals today signed free agent CB Terence Newman, a two-time Pro Bowl selection over 2003-11 with Dallas. Also today, the club re-signed TE Donald Lee and LB Dan Skuta. Lee was an unrestricted free agent, and Skuta a restricted free agent.
Newman (5-11, 188; Kansas State) is a 10th-year NFL player. He has played in 133 Cowboys games with 131 starts over the last nine seasons, averages of 14.8 games and 14.6 starts per campaign. He has 32 career interceptions, with an average of 10.8 yards per return, and he has been a mainstay on two NFC East championship teams and four playoff teams overall.
Last season, Newman tied for the Dallas team lead in INTs (four) and passes defensed (10). He played in the Cowboys’ last 14 games after missing the first two with a groin strain. He played in every Dallas game in 2009 and 2010. He earned Pro Bowl berths in the ’07 and ’09 seasons.
“Terence has played at a high level, and he still has athleticism and speed,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “He adds to the competition and depth with the guys we have, and he wants to play 100 percent of the snaps. He’s choosing to come to a team that he feels can get him back to the playoffs.”
Dallas made Newman the fifth overall choice in the 2003 draft, and the Bengals now have five former first-round draft picks on the roster at CB. The others are Leon Hall and Nate Clements (Cincinnati starters in 2011), Adam Jones and Jason Allen.
Lee (6-4, 248; Mississippi State) is a 10th-year player in 2012. He joined the Bengals as a free agent on Sept. 13 of last season and played in nine games, with five missed due to a foot injury, and he also played in the Wild Card playoff. He had 11 receptions for 115 yards, with key receptions in wins at Seattle and Tennessee. He played in 19 of 20 games for Green Bay’s 2010 Super Bowl championship team and has career totals of 209 receptions for 1990 yards and 19 TDs.
“Donald is a veteran and a leader, and he made some plays for us last year as a receiver,” said Bengals TEs coach Jonathan Hayes. “We think he’ll make more this year.”
Skuta (6-2; 248; Grand Valley State) is a fourth-year player. He has seen action in the last 37 Bengals games, including two postseason contests. Last season he started three games at MLB, replacing injured Rey Maualuga, and he logged a career-best 34 tackles on defense for the season. He was second on the club in special teams tackles last season, and he led the special teams in 2010.
“Dan has increased his role every year he’s been with us, and he’s still a young guy,” said LBs coach Paul Guenther. “He is a tough guy who finds the ball and makes himself a factor in the play.”