On Thursday April 12th
, the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants acquired Keith Rivers via trade with the Cincinnati Bengals for a 5th
round draft pick. The former first-round selection displayed pro potential while playing all four years at the University of Southern California. Rivers finished his college career with 240 total tackles, 18 of those for a loss of 77 yards. But after being drafted by the Bengals in 2008, Rivers faced inconsistencies with staying on the field due to multiple injuries in his young career. He played in only 7 games his rookie season, recording 37 tackles and 1 forced fumble before shattering his jaw after receiving a blind-side block by former Steelers' receiver Hinds Ward. His following three seasons in the league, Rivers recorded a total of 149 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 interception in 28 total games, missing the entire 2011 season with a wrist injury.
Numbers prove that If Rivers can manage to stay healthy, (something that has been a problem early in his short-lived career) he can be a great contributor to a defense. It will also help that this is not the first time the Giants have taken in a defensive player (especially a linebacker) and had that player perform well in their system after having lackluster seasons somewhere else. Keith Rivers is also in a contract year. This means that whatever deal he hopes to receive from this, or any other team in the NFL depends on his consistency and performance this upcoming season. If the former top ten pick has nothing else to play for, he has a season that could be career deciding. With that being said, expect to see a re-energized, committed Keith Rivers in a Giants' linebacking corps that should support the front four just as well, If not better than they did last season.
And for the price of a 5th
round draft pick, Giants fans must be happy to see this and other low risk, high reward moves out of their front office. The signings of former Dallas Tight End & underachiever Martellus Bennett, and right tackle Sean Locklear should prove to be good acquisitions for the team as they regroup for another title run. The G-Men are continuing to do things just as they have been for the past few years, quietly.