When the trade of former Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers to the Giants became official, the term of the day was “fresh start” — that’s what Rivers and the Giants say a player who was talented enough to go ninth overall in the NFL draft, and who is only 25 years old, is getting in New York.
“I’m excited to get a fresh start and brand new beginning,” Rivers said. “You can’t ask for more than to be playing for the defending world champions and be in New York.”
“This is an excellent opportunity for him to have a fresh start,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “Keith is versatile enough to play the outside on first and second down and he can play on third down because he runs well. And he’s fast enough to rush the passer.”
Rivers is a very athletic player who, if he can actually get on the field for the Giants, will be a steal for their fifth-round draft pick, which is what they sent the Bengals to acquire him. That, however, is a big “if”: In four seasons since the Bengals drafted him, Rivers has played in just 35 games. But Rivers, who missed all of last year with a wrist injury, says he’ll be good to go this year.
“I’ve been working really hard this offseason and it’s not about my past,” he said. “It’s about what I’ve been doing to prepare myself for this year and I’m really excited about it. I just haven’t been able to stay on the field as much as I would like. Hopefully, like I said, it’s a new beginning and everything is behind me and I’m ready to do it on the big stage here in New York.”