The New York Giants today made the acquisition of linebacker Keith Rivers from the Cincinnati Bengals official, obtaining the 25-year-old for an undisclosed draft choice, previously reported to have been a fifth-round selection. Both Rivers and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin called the move to New York a "fresh start" for the oft-injured outside linebacker.
"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."
In discussing Rivers, Coughlin also answered the question of where the 6-foot-2, 242-pound linebacker would play.
"This is an excellent opportunity for him to have a fresh start," 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."
General manager Jerry Reese indicated that he expected Rivers to compete for the starting spot on the weak side.
"We're excited to have another talented player in the mix for our defensive staff to work with," Reese said. "We try to create competition at every position, and Keith will definitely bring some competition to our linebacker group."
Rivers missed all of 2011 with a wrist injury, and has missed time in each of his four NFL seasons with a variety of injuries.
"Last year was very frustrating," Rivers said. "The more and more you sit and watch, going through the games and getting that feeling you get before a game and not being able to go out there and play football really hurts. But it's all behind me and I'm excited about this new opportunity."
In his first three years with the Bengals, Rivers played in 35 games with 33 starts.