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New York Giants: Why Keith Rivers Re-Signing Means He Has Chance to Start in 2013

March 14th, 2013 at 6:15 PM
By Doug Rush

We at Giants 101 have always been very high on Keith Rivers. Ever since he was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first-round back in 2008, many liked what they saw when he came out of USC.

Rivers' downfall however, has been injuries. In his rookie year of 2008, he played in just seven games. In 2011, he missed the entire season, which ended up leading the the Bengals wanting to get rid of him.

And thus, on April 11, 2012, the Bengals traded Rivers to the Giants for a fifth-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

When most heard news of this trade, their initial gut reaction was that General Manager Jerry Reese had just pulled off a steal, because when Rivers is healthy, he's a great player. Now, with his first season in 2012, he was mostly used as a backup behind Michael Boley and Mathias Kiwanuka at outside linebacker and only played in 11 games, six of which he got to start because of Boley getting injured.

On Thursday, Rivers was re-signed for one-year and with the deal, he will get the chance to show the Giants what he can do.

More importantly, Rivers will get the chance to start for the Giants due to Boley being cut in February and the likeliness that Kiwanuka will move back to defensive end with Osi Umenyiora's departure.

The Giants have a lack of depth as it is at linebacker, and it's no surprise they are looking at linebackers like Jasper Brinkley and Karlos Dansby. But there was a reason why Rivers was a first-round pick back in 2008, he is a talented linebacker who is very athletic and can make plays on the field.

But, as we mentioned earlier, injuries have hampered his entire career.

Now, with a new deal in place, Rivers has the opportunity of a lifetime to make an impact on the Giants and live up to the hype of being an impact, outside linebacker playing for a contender.

For Giants fans all over and for the organization, let's hope Rivers makes the most of what he' s been given.

Photo Credit: Mike Gannon

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Tags: Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Football, Keith Rivers, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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71 Responses to “New York Giants: Why Keith Rivers Re-Signing Means He Has Chance to Start in 2013”

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  1.  Begiant says:

    at least now we can get our 5th round picks worth.

  2.  kujo says:

    This article was like 5 paragraphs too long.

    “Why Keith Rivers’ resigning means he could start in 2013…

    …because there ain’t no one else here to play linebacker!”

    End of article.

  3.  GmenMania says:

    I like Rivers, but I don’t want him playing the lion’s share of snaps at linebacker. He’s just too much of an injury risk to rely on as a guy who gets big playing time at a position where we have very little depth. It would be a good idea to bring in a couple other veteran linebackers, and maybe draft one or two as well.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    Mark me down as a big Rivers fan. I think he’s the best linebacker we’ve had here since the first two years of Pierce’s contract when the guy could still play. Of course he should start. He’s a good sideline-to-sideline pursuer, he can slice through gaps and make tackles near the LOS (a foreign concept to most of our linebackers), and he can cover tight ends. If he stays healthy everyone will love the guy’s play. If he doesn’t then his backup will have to step up. The Giants are going to have at least six, probably seven, linebackers. There will be depth behind Rivers, Williams, Paysinger and Herzlich. I think Muasau has a real shot at the roster. I assume Reese will draft someone. And I assume we’ll sign a free agent before long for veteran balance.

  5.  GeezUp says:

    Stevie Brown is better anyways in Fewell’s scheme!!! All u Giants Fans who thought KP was worth the fuss in your face! This moves only proves he’s a traitor. He’ll be irrelevant just like the other former Giants player who signed with the Philthy Eggles last season. Now let’s sign Karlos Dansby already!!!

    •  Begiant says:

      LMAO…are you kidding me? Stevie Brown was not even that good last year and rated poorly. During our Superbowl run KP was a HUGE facter and played very well. Stevie Brown got some nice Ints but lets face it, KP is better.

  6.  Chad Eldred says:

    I can’t imagine there is person here that would argue Rivers doesn’t have the tools. He just needs to make it through a season without a deviated rectum.

    •  Samardzija says:

      Yeah the debate isnt whether hes good enough. Everyone an see that he is. We just cant put all our eggs in a bottomless basket…

      •  Dirt says:

        Rivers could be in the infirmary and be as good as any linebacker since Pierce and Mitchell in 2007.

  7.  Dirt says:

    I try to be conscious of homerism. It’s all over the place here (like it should be expected to be on a fan site). Got some stats that put your team’s player down? Stats are stupid. Experts don’t put your guy at the top of a list? Experts are stupid. Because all that matters is the consensus fan opinion that your guy is a stud.

    Well, let me tell you something. No one gives a sh|t that the Eagles signed Kenny Phillips across the football world, only in New York and Philly. Been watching the first 15 minutes of Total Access, he got a 5-second flash of a graphic on the screen. Yes, he’s the best safety (on G101), but he’s kinda not. The experts don’t seem to be fazed, nor does Jerry Reese.

    So thanks KP, but keep it moving people, nothing to see here.

    •  TroyThorne says:

      Not sure how TV air time correlates to skill level. If that were the case Tebow would be pulling down MVPs and Super Bowl trophies instead of booking a one way plane ticket to Canada.

      Safeties don’t get talked about much unless they’re future HoFers. KP was really good. Easily top 10 in the NFL. Didn’t pull down a ton of picks so the average fan didn’t appreciate how well he could cover the deep field but it was pretty obvious (to me at least) that we were better on defense with him playing.

      •  Dirt says:

        Sure, most of that.

        But it’s not like the loss of KP changes the balance of power in the Beast or turns the Giants into a 4 win team.

        It’s just not that big of a deal.

      •  BillyS says:

        Keywords there = “with him playing”.

        Talent isn’t a question because KP is a very talented player; it’s the injuries that are keeping him from the contract he wants. He has a reputation as being injury prone and no team wants to commit much money to him. He’s now got to prove he can stay 100% healthy, but that seems pretty rare for him. He didn’t play a lot last season because of his leg problems. That’s not to say he can’t stay healthy, but he’s quickly earning that rep of being made of glass. It’s sad when players with so much talent kind of fizzle away, but Jerry Reese seems to have a good eye for when it’s ready to let guys leave. KP probably could have stayed here on a 1 year deal if he chose, but he obviously didn’t want to be here.

        He’s a very good safety when healthy, but he just isn’t reliable. We need players who are dependable since you can only keep so many guys on your roster. I still think some here are underrating Stevie Brown. I don’t believe he’ll be a stud by any means, but I also don’t think he’ll be terrible. It’s not like we’re throwing CC Brown or Sash out there. Brown is decent enough and at the fraction of the cost that KP would have commanded from us. Plus there aren’t all of the lingering injury concerns.

        We got over Steve Smith and we’ll get over KP.

  8.  Valid says:

    Hope Phillips has fun going 4-12 next year.

  9.  shmitty013 says:

    Mike Garafolo ?@MikeGarafolo
    LB Jasper Brinkley to the Cardinals. 2-year deal.

    Didn’t really want him anyway

    •  BillyS says:

      Nor did I, but it just means that Dansby could have more leverage now. As much as I want Dansby I won’t accept overpaying him. Maybe a nice LB will fall to us in the draft.

      •  kujo says:

        Why does this give Dansby more leverage? He’s a free agent that we may, but probably don’t, have interest in. He doesn’t have us over a barrel–we’ll either sign him or go with someone else.

        •  Valid says:

          Yeah. Plus, I can’t imagine Brinkley got too much money. Unless Arizona ridiculously overpaid for him, Dansby’s market doesn’t really depend on Jasper Brinkley.

        •  BillyS says:

          There are still teams that need linebackers. Dansby is better than Brinkley and the teams left that need LBs may get into a small bidding war in order to get him. Dansby’s father mentioned the Giants the other day and as of now Dansby has the leverage of which team to go to because I just can’t see Dansby getting shut out while someone like Justin Durant gets a better offer.

  10.  Valid says:

    Dirt is 100 percent right. The KP move doesn’t make us a 4-win team and it doesn’t make the Eagles NOT a 4-win team. It’s a nice signing because the guy is a good player, but like others have said ad nauseam: he can’t stay healthy.

    It’s not like we lost JPP to those scumbags or anything. Just a safety whom I personally think Will Hill is going to be better than anyway. On to the next one.

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