CINCINNATI - The Bengals re-signed defensive end Robert Geathers on Tuesday, keeping another of their top players out of the free-agent market.
Geathers would have become an unrestricted free agent when the market opened at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Geathers, a 10th-year NFL player in 2013, has spent his entire career with Cincinnati since being drafted in the fourth round in 2004. He is the longest-tenured Bengal on the current roster with the most Bengals games played (134) and most starts (104), including all 16 games plus the wild-card playoff last season.
"Robert brings us not just fine and consistent play, but leadership and experience," said head coach Marvin Lewis. "He's a big part of our success with his own play, and I know our younger guys have talked about how he's made them more effective players. We are glad he has chosen to remain a Bengal."
Geathers had 45 tackles with 3.5 sacks last season.
The Bengals re-signed defensive end Wallace Gilberry (6.5 sacks last year) earlier Tuesday. They previously designated defensive end Michael Johnson (11.5 sacks) as the team's franchise player for 2013.
Three other Bengals who could have opted for unrestricted free agency have re-signed within the past week – long snapper Clark Harris, punter Kevin Huber and kicker Mike Nugent. Also re-signing was running back and special teams ace Cedric Peerman, who could have become a restricted free agent.