Giants acquire LB Rivers

PFW staff

Updated 4:26 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 12

The Giants traded a fifth-round pick to the Bengals for LB Keith Rivers, the teams confirmed on Thursday. The Bengals will get the 167th overall pick in April's draft.

Rivers, a former first-round pick of Cincinnati, missed all of the 2011 season because of a wrist injury. Thomas Howard took his place in the lineup and played well.

The Bengals also announced on Thursday that they have waived CB Rico Murray, who has 10 games of NFL experience.

The way we see it

This is a great low-risk move by the Giants. They get the former ninth pick in the draft for the last pick in the fifth round. They appear willing to let Chase Blackburn, a key cog in the title drive, and Jonathan Goff, who missed all of last season, walk via free agency.

The most likely scenario is having Rivers play the weak side in the base defense and moving Michael Boley inside, something GM Jerry Reese said was possible in February. Rivers adds speed to the unit, but he has been injury-prone in his three seasons. The Giants have some youth at linebacker they want to develop before thrusting those players into starting roles, and this should allow that to happen over time.

With such a great defensive line, you could argue that the team doesn’t need big-name talent at linebacker. But Rivers could be a nice addition if he can stay healthy.