Aug 28, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Robert Geathers (91) against the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Earlier this off-season, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis spoke about how the Bengals wouldn’t be following the “status quo,” essentially meaning the team would be employing a different strategy this year in order to improve their roster. This means the team will likely be more aggressive in free agency in an effort to add players who can help this team get over its playoff woes.
Today, the Bengals have decided to part ways with longtime defensive end Robert Geathers; the move was accompanied by the release of wide receiver Greg Little as well. The decision to release Geathers is at least some evidence that the Bengals are in fact employing this different approach. In years past, the Bengals would’ve retained a veteran like Geathers whom Geoff Hobson attributes much of the team’s turnaround over the past six years to. This year, things do in fact seem to be different.
The Bengals choice to release Robert Geathers isn’t exactly a groundbreaking decision. The team needs cap space heading into 2016, which presents a substantial list of players who will need to be re-signed. But with Geathers in the final year of his deal, the Bengals could’ve held onto him for the year and then simply moved on next season. The decision to move on from Geathers at this point in time is at least some proof of the change in philosophy Marvin Lewis alluded to earlier this off-season.
Robert Geathers’ release means the Bengals now have an open roster spot along their defensive line. This could mean the team feels confident in Margus Hunt and Will Clarke heading into 2015, or it could mean the team is preparing to sign of draft a more capable or promising player. We’ll have to see exactly what it means in the weeks to come–the free agency period begins on March 10th–but this move should at least intrigue those fans who’ve been clamoring for change in years past.