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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