By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
While the team continues to work on adding to its wide receiving corps, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson was busy on another front with an old friend Thursday.
The former Philadelphia Eagles director of player personnel made his fourth trade with his old team in 15 months, acquiring fullback Stanley Havili in exchange for defensive lineman Clifton Geathers.
“Stanley fills an immediate need for us at the fullback position and provides us with a solid option in our new offensive scheme,” Grigson said in a team release. “His speed, explosion and hard-nosed playing style are his main strengths, but he also possesses sound blocking and receiving skills.”
Havili was drafted in the seventh round out of Southern California in 2011. He spent that season on the Eagles’ practice squad before appearing in 15 games last year. He has six career carries for 22 yards and seven catches for 43 yards, with one rushing touchdown.
In 52 games at USC, Havili totaled 1,799 yards from scrimmage and 15 touchdowns. The bulk of his production (1,290 yards and 12 touchdowns) came as a receiver.
“Stanley had a very productive career at USC and gained valuable experience as a starting fullback and special teams contributor for Philadelphia last year,” Grigson said. “The Eagles in return are getting a young, very big and strong player in Clif Geathers that can play every defensive line position to fill a need moving forward in their new scheme as well. We feel it’s a win-win.”
The Colts wanted a true fullback to fit in new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s West Coast scheme. Philadelphia, meanwhile, is switching to a 3-4 defensive front this offseason.
Geathers had five tackles and one sack in eight games for Indianapolis last season. He was signed to the practice squad on Oct. 3 and elevated to the active roster six days later.
The Colts also announced Thursday that offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach has signed his restricted free agent tender. Linkenbach started eight regular season games last year and the AFC Wild Card playoff game in Baltimore.
Meanwhile, Indianapolis still was awaiting word from free agent wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey who visited the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on Tuesday and the Detroit Lions on Wednesday.
Heyward-Bey told the media in Michigan he had a good visit with the Lions but would fly home before making a decision. If the former Oakland Raider chooses Detroit, the Colts could look elsewhere in free agency or select a receiver in April’s draft.