End-of-season player exit meetings are not something that we are often privy to as outsiders of the football world. Generally, we only get a glimpse into that world when a player is asked by a reporter how the meeting went, if the player is willing to discuss it.
Still, it’s not generally a hard concept to grasp, and we have a pretty good feel by now of how Mike Tomlin and his staff likes to operate, and we see all the game film, so it’s not an overly difficult project to simulate. If we were to administer the end-of-season player exit meetings, it might go something like this.
Player: Clifton Geathers
Position: Defensive Line
Experience: 5 Years
Defensive lineman Clifton Geathers has spent his career as a journeyman player prior to joining the Pittsburgh Steelers late in the 2014 season. He will attempt to continue that journey in a little over a week from now, but it seems fairly unlikely that it will be with the Steelers.
Even though head coach Mike Tomlin stated following his signing that he is a player the team looked at in free agency, he spent his five games with the team on the inactive list, despite the fact that the team had two rookies logging snaps along the defensive line.
The Steelers are in fact his eighth different team since 2010, and the Cowboys are the only organization with which he has spent parts of more than one season. 2013 was his most productive year, in which he dressed for all 16 games, and even started one, for the Eagles. He recorded 13 tackles in about 250 snaps.
The Redskins signed Geathers to a two-year, $3.2 million contract in 2014, but he was released after two months, appearing in six games and recording six tackles. The Steelers signed him a month later after veteran Brett Keisel was lost for the remainder of the season due to a triceps injury.
While Keisel’s injury initiated a lot of change along the line, none of it had to do with Geathers. One starter was demoted, with a rookie taking his place, while another rookie saw more playing time. Geathers, for his part, stood on the sidelines in street clothes.
That may not be entirely his fault, of course. He has spent the majority of his career learning NFC East style football, and as well all know, the Steelers’ defensive line coach likes to break down his players before letting them see the field. That two rookies saw as many snaps as they did in 2014 is quite a rarity.
At 6’8”, Geathers has imposing size, with his 325-pound body much to contend with, but he offers little as a pass rusher, and would benefit the Steelers little along the interior, where they’re already trying to teach a young 6’7” how to play with lower pads.
Though he wound up spending a little more than a cup of coffee with the Steelers in 2014, and they may find themselves low on defensive ends depending on how they sort out their roster, I would not expect to see Geathers re-signed.