It’s all systems go for Geno Atkins. The free agent defensive tackle has been cleared for football activity by Cowboys team doctor Dan Cooper (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Now, Atkins is expected to start taking visits and weighing interest from a handful of clubs.
Although Cooper works for the Cowboys, it’s not clear if Atkins has met with team brass yet. Either way, he should hold appeal for plenty of other teams as a low-risk, high-reward type of signing. Even the Bengals previously indicated that they’d be interested in a reunion after cutting him in March.
“Geno is one of the greatest players in franchise history and one of the best defensive tackles of the last decade,” exec Duke Tobin said in April. “He gave us what he had last year…We’ll see if there are things that can be worked out. If it is, great. If not, I think we’ve got other guys that can fill the role.”
Atkins fought through a shoulder injury throughout 2020. He suited up for just eight games in total, and, even when he was healthy, he wasn’t happy about his playing time. His final tally: zero sacks and zero starts. It was a sharp drop from his pre-extension season in 2017, when he finished out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 2 ranked interior defender.
Before all of that, he was a perennial Pro Bowler. Once he’s healthy, Atkins could be a difference-maker for contenders in need.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.