It was the first time that a Cincinnati Bengals defensive player generated double-digit quarterback sacks in a season since Alfred Williams did it in 1992. Impressed enough to keep him around long-term, the Bengals signed defensive end Robert Geathers to a six-year deal worth $33.75 million following an impressive 10.5 sack performance in 2006, which now ranks seventh in franchise history after Geno Atkins (12.5) and Michael Johnson (11.5) forcefully pushed him aside.
In today's NFL, it's surprising whenever a six-year deal is actually completed without that player being released or signing another long-term, team-friendly contract.
"It's a credit to Robert and to the organization for honoring the deal," Geathers agent Pat Dye told Bengals.com. "They could have reached an injury settlement with him before the year, but it paid dividends. His leadership is off the charts and he played real well."
But don't believe for a second that the association between Geathers and Cincinnati is over just yet, writes Geoff Hobson. According to Geathers' agent, Dye "says the indications from both the team and Geathers are that everyone wants to get a deal for this season."
Geathers, who turns 30 this August, will enter his tenth season. He'll be an unrestricted free agent in early March.