As we try to muddle through the lull between free agency and the full-throttle ramping up of interest in the draft, there’s nothing like a trade rumor to keep things interesting.
From Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star-Ledger comes word of murmurs that the Giants may be acquiring linebacker Keith Rivers from the Bengals.
The ninth pick in the 2008 draft, Rivers missed all of 2011 with a wrist injury. He also missed nine games as a rookie after getting blown up by Hines Ward. (Rivers at least got a vote for AP defensive rookie of the year, despite appearing in only seven games.) For the two seasons in between, Rivers started 13 games in 2009 and 13 games in 2010.
As Garafolo points out, the return of Manny Lawson and the presence of Thomas Howard make Rivers expendable in Cincinnati. The Giants, in turn, need linebackers — even though they’d have to do some shuffling if Rivers would be brought in to play the weak side.
The bigger question will be compensation. Last month, the Eagles secured Pro Bowl middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Texans for a fourth-round pick and flip-flopping of third-rounder choices. Rivers has a better draft pedigree but less of a career than Ryans. The Bengals may not get much, if they indeed will be moving on by moving Rivers out.