Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Apr 2012

Bengals Deal Rivers to Giants

Jason La Canfora reports that the Bengals have dealt former ninth overall pick Keith Rivers to the Giants for a fifth-round pick. The Giants lost a couple of linebackers to injury last year, but Rivers also missed the entire season with a wrist injury. It's an interesting buy-low move on a player who has been dinged up for most of his Cincy career. I'm not sure why the Bengals are bothering for a late fifth-rounder. maybe this is one of those situations where they were pondering releasing him anyway?

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 11 Apr 2012

28 comments, Last at 15 Apr 2012, 2:21pm by BaronFoobarstein


by Alex (not verified) :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 3:49pm

This looks like a "we were gonna cut him but we'll take a 5th rounder if you want first dibs on him" type move.

by tedkerwin :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 3:54pm

Also, the Giants had a second 4th, let them have some flexibility.

by JasonK :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 4:03pm

I don't really get that line of thinking. Unless the Giants' roster has space for no more than five rookie players (a silly assumption to make), the presence or absence of draft picks in earlier rounds has no bearing at all on how the organization should value the right to pick the 167th player in the draft.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 04/14/2012 - 9:09pm

Well said.

by Noah Arkadia :: Sun, 04/15/2012 - 1:39pm

Agreed. A pet peeve of mine is "they didn't have a 2nd, so they need to get one". As in: "so and so did a great job getting back the 2nd lost in the so and so trade". As if there were some special kind of nasty penalty for not having a 2nd round pick.

We are number one. All others are number two, or lower.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Sun, 04/15/2012 - 2:21pm

Yeah, one of those little odd biases people seem to get. If I were running a real team's draft I'd try to eliminate the concept of "round" entirely and focus only on absolute position.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Sun, 04/15/2012 - 2:21pm

Yeah, one of those little odd biases people seem to get. If I were running a real team's draft I'd try to eliminate the concept of "round" entirely and focus only on absolute position.

by JasonK :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 4:00pm

Interesting. That gives the Giants 3 guys in Rivers, Michael Boley, and Jacquian Williams (the most promising so far of the rookie LBs they brought in last year) who seem to project best as a traditional weakside linebacker. (Which they call the strong side, because Perry Fewell likes to be different-- he names the defensive sides based on where the 1-tech DT lines up, rather than based on the offensive formation.)

There have been some hints that they'll consider playing Boley in the middle, which I have to imagine would make them a bit vulnerable to power running attacks. (Not the worst weakness to have in the modern NFL, but still worthy of notice.)

by Independent George :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 4:45pm

It makes me wonder if that means we'll be seeing more of that 3-safety package this season. You don't need a traditional MLB if your base package is Nickel.

by JasonK :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 4:55pm

But who is the 3rd safety in that scenario?

Chris Horton, I guess? Or maybe it's Terrell Thomas playing the Nickel DB spot, with Amukamara and Webster at CB?

by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 5:23pm

Yeah, but then you only need two linebackers, total; this does not actually solve the problem of having too many linebackers. Is Deon Grant gone? He's their third safety (so I thought). With Kiwanuka presumably entrenched on the offensive right side, that leaves Williams, Boley, Jones, and now Rivers on the other two spots. I would think Rivers is probably quality depth, and that Boley and/or Jones will man the center (possibly both, with Boley playing the weak side on running downs).

Huh, Giants.com does not show Grant on the roster. Maybe they draft a safety?

by rich31689 (not verified) :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 6:44pm

Drafting a safety looks very much in the cards. There's also the feel-good story in Chad Jones, the safety 3rd round pick from 2009 who nearly lost his leg in a car accident and will be miraculously joining the Giants off-season workouts, but I can't imagine the FO is counting on him for anything.

The Giants defensive philosophy perhaps more than other teams, however, seems to be just "throw the best 11 guys on the field, and if that happens to mean 4 true DEs and 3 safeties, so be it." Williams has shown very strong coverage skills for a linebacker, so I could see him filling the Deon Grant "big safety" role next year, since Grant was pretty bad in coverage anyway.

by JasonK :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 11:43pm

If they can help it at all, the Giants don't use the draft to fill immediate needs. The real reason the Giants might be looking at drafting a safety is because of a possible need in 2013-- that's when Kenny Phillips' contract expires.

Grant might well be done. I don't know of any team, including the Giants, that has given him a sniff in free agency. They've got Tyler Sash (a 2011 6th-rounder who played well on special teams) and Chris Horton (former Redskin who had a promising rookie year, but has had injury issues since) competing for the #3 safety spot right now. It seems likely to me that the Giants want to see Terrell Thomas play the nickel DB role in 2012-- that was the plan for 2011, before his preseason ACL tear. If it weren't for all the CB injuries, they wouldn't have gone back to the "big nickel" personnel (Grant at SS, Rolle moving to the Nickel DB spot) nearly as much as they did.

by LionInAZ :: Sat, 04/14/2012 - 12:44am

Does Rivers have much value as a special teams player? Given the Giants' issues not-so-distant issues in punt coverage, a good ST player is worth going after.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 4:28pm

This is a much different story from my original reading of the headline, "Chargers Deal Rivers to Giants."

by JasonK :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 4:42pm

"Reports indicate that the famous 2004 trade's 'no-takesies-backsies' clause included an unorthodox expiration after 8 years"

by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 5:14pm

Ah, but who would want to take it back?

by rageon :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 5:23pm

I believe that conversation would require a designated "Manning vs. Rivers irritational discussion thread."

by Independent George :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 6:04pm

The funniest thing is that Eli takes the Brady role in that debate, while Rivers plays Peyton.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 5:23pm

Nailed it!

This is very meta. In fact I've been giggling for several minutes now. Dan Harmon coouldn't have written it any better than you guys did. Awesome.

by Shattenjager :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 6:03pm

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who did that.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 04/14/2012 - 9:14pm


by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 7:12pm

I only caught a couple of his games from his rookie season before he got hurt but I thought he looked better than Jerod Mayo that year. If he can stay healthy he could be a real steal for a fifth.

by bubqr :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 10:43pm

My thoughts exactly, I thought back then that he looked really good for a rookie - Is that an injury thing only ?

by Kal :: Thu, 04/12/2012 - 2:31am

It's probably a Bengals thing too.

by Anonymous420 (not verified) :: Wed, 04/11/2012 - 11:49pm

After Hines Ward broke his glass jaw he lost his will to play.

by Brendan Scolari :: Thu, 04/12/2012 - 7:35pm

I would think Rivers could mix in at all 3 linebacker positions. He could play Mike and Boley could play Will in the base defense or vice versa, in the 4-2-5 Nickel he can play one of the two LB positions, and whenever Kiwi is at defensive end Rivers can play Sam. This happens quite frequently as the Giants often use 3 defensive ends and they rotate their D-line out a lot in general.

Personally, I'd try to trade Osi for a second round pick and move Kiwi back to DE full time. Then you have three good ends (plus the Giants will probably draft another one high in the next 2 years), a very young, athletic LB group and I think Rivers can handle the Sam spot. Osi is gone after next year anyway and the Giants are gonna be in cap trouble for the next few years so I'd want as many quality players that will play for cheap as I can get.

by Mike Kurtz :: Thu, 04/12/2012 - 7:47pm

For a moment I had thought we lost our editor.