The Bengals have signed free agent offensive tackle Bobby Hart to a one-year deal, the club announced today.
Hart, 23, had been a part-time starter for the Giants since entering the league as a seventh-round pick in 2015. Last season, Hart played roughly half of New York’s offensive snaps, but graded as a bottom-five tackle per Pro Football Focus. After Hart reportedly refused to practice late last year, new Giants general manager Dave Gettleman placed him on injured reserve, and subsequently waived him from IR last week.
The Bengals, however, are forced to overlook some of Hart’s negative traits due to their extremely weak offensive line. Cincinnati finished among the bottom half of the NFL in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate, and front five upgrades were at the top of the club’s offseason to-do list. Hart clearly won’t solve all of the Bengals’ offensive line problems, but he’ll add depth and experience to a unit that needs both.
At present, Cincinnati is projected to start 2015 draft selections Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher at the tackle spots, though neither is assured of playing time. Veteran Andre Smith could potentially re-sign for a third stint in the Queen City, while the Bengals may consider further free agent additions or draft picks.
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