As had been widely speculated, the Cincinnati Bengals traded LB Keith Rivers to the New York Giants. In exchange, the Giants will give the Bengals their fifth round draft pick in this year's NFL Draft.
Rivers was drafted ninth overall in the 2008 draft out of USC, but never materialized into the dominant defender the team had envisioned. Injuries slowed his development, beginning with a broken jaw received when Hines Ward of Pittsburgh blind-sided him on a block during a week seven game in Cincinnati during Rivers' rookie campaign. He missed the entirety of 2011 recovering from wrist surgery.
That allowed the Bengals to find replacements for Rivers. The team signed free agents Manny Lawson and Thomas Howard last off season and drafted another outside linebacker in Dontay Moch. The Bengals recently re-signed Lawson and Thomas has taken leadership of the linebacking unit. That made Rivers expendable.
Rivers started 33 games for the Bengals and accumulated 186 tackles including two sacks. In New York, he'll be competing with a talented group coming off a Super Bowl win. Our colleagues at Giants 101 report that Rivers will likely not be extended, meaning his opportunity this year with the Giants is a "one shot" deal.
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