Free Agent Files: Nick Eason

Posted on February 18, 2010 by Patrick Moran

nick eason(We’re running a series profiling players that could fit into the Buffalo Bills’ plans leading up to the start of free agency on March 5.  Today we look at Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Nick Eason)

First and foremost, if you’re waiting for profiles on big splashy free agent names you’re going to grow at least a year older than you are now. The reality for the Buffalo Bills and the rest of the NFL is a glaring lack of impact players who’ll be obtainable on the free agent market, and that talent pool is diminished even further without a collective bargaining agreement in place.

Had there been one, Ray Edwards and Marcus Spears could’ve been two defensive end prospects the team would’ve been interested in signing.  But with no deal in place, both are restricted and Buffalo isn’t yielding precious draft choices for either.

The Bills will find at least one defensive line free agent when the shopping commences, and all roads point towards a player like Nick Eason of the Pittsburgh Steelers. If you’re hoping to google his name and be won over by promising statistics and pedigree, I suggest saving the time and headache.  Eason has all of 92 tackles, 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble—for his entire six year career.

He was the fourth round pick of Denver in the 2003 draft and missed his entire rookie season with an Achilles tendon injury. He’s been waived twice and spent time on three different practice squads. He’s even spent time in NFL Europe.

In large part it’s because word from critics is he isn’t the most fluid athlete.  They say he doesn’t use his arms and feet well enough and a result gets swallowed up by mauling offensive linemen.

So to say Eason isn’t a sexy free agent choice would be an understatement.

But Eason is a player that can bring great value and experience to Buffalo, and I suspect strongly those are things Chan Gailey and George Edwards are looking for in new defensive players for the 3-4 switch.  For starters Eason has extensive experience playing in the scheme and the Steelers organization thought highly enough of Eason to resign him when he was a free agent in 2008.

The book on Eason is he’s exceptionally strong and has great burst off the snap.  At 6-3 and 305 pounds he has adequate size to play the defensive end spot and is quick enough to make plays in full pursuit of the ball.

He’s also tremendously intelligent. Eason graduated from Clemson University with a degree in sociology and is close to finishing up his Master’s. He has a reputation as a solid community guy that’s extremely interactive with fans and organizations.

Doug Whaley, the Bills news assistant general manager came over from Pittsburgh, had a lot to do with signing Eason in Pittsburgh and has seen him up close and personal for the last three years.  You can bet come March 5 Eason will be getting a phone call if the Steelers don’t resign him before free agency commences. At worst the Bills should be interested in him for depth.

A modest bump in salary and opportunity for more playing time could be enough to lure Eason to Buffalo.  Given the talent pool in this year’s crop, they could do much worse.

Previous Files: Jimmy Kennedy

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2 Comments on Free Agent Files: Nick Eason

  1. James

    Great post. It is definitely more realistic that the Bills will sign Eason-type players.

  2. Free Agent Files: Kevin Walter : Buffalo Sports Daily

    [...] Previous Files: Jimmy Kennedy, Nick Eason [...]

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