Friday, February 28, 2014
Free agent dossier: Clifton Geathers
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA -- When fans look at the Philadelphia Eagles' relatively short list of players due to become unrestricted free agents, names like Michael Vick and Jeremy Maclin jump out more than Clifton Geathers.
That is understandable. The 6-foot-8, 340-pound defensive lineman played only 21 percent of the Eagles’ defensive plays in 2013. He didn’t register any sacks and was credited with four quarterback hurries.
But Geathers was typically used on running downs, and was part of a close-knit group of young defensive linemen who grew together under the tutelage of assistant coach Jerry Azzinaro. Is Geathers a must-sign, high-priority guy for GM Howie Roseman? Probably not.
But can he be a solid, depth guy who already knows the system? Geathers isn’t likely to break the bank, and could very well be back with the Eagles in 2014.
On a line with a relatively light nose tackle -- 310-pound Bennie Logan -- Geathers can be an effective space-eater as a 3-4 end. In that sense, his 26 tackles don’t necessarily reflect his performance. The system calls for the linemen to stand their ground and tie up blockers while the linebackers are freed up to make more tackles.
Geathers, 26, bounced around to six teams before the Indianapolis Colts traded him to the Eagles last year. He got the most playing time of his career and maybe found himself a home.