Bengals bringing back Geathers

The Cincinnati Bengals took another step towards keeping their formidable defensive line intact at the start of Tuesday's free agent period, with the team announcing it has re-signed veteran end Robert Geathers to an undisclosed contract.

Geathers, the Bengals' longest-tenured player who will entering his 10th season with the organization, started all 16 games this past season and recorded 30 tackles and three sacks. The 30-year-old has started 87 times over the last six seasons and owns 33 sacks over his pro career.

"Robert brings us not just fine and consistent play, but leadership and experience," said Bengals 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 rejoins a front line that accounted for 40 of Cincinnati's team- record 51 sacks in 2012. The Bengals had already designated right end Michael Johnson, who tallied 11 1/2 sacks last season, as their franchise player and re-signed reserve pass-rusher Wallace Gilberry earlier on Tuesday.