Dec 9, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker Keith Rivers (55) wraps up New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (28) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. New York Giants defeat the New Orleans Saints 52-27. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

New York Giants keep Keith Rivers

The New York Giants have reportedly re-signed injury-prone, 26-year-old outside linebacker Keith Rivers, according to a tweet from Giants beat writer Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger. The former USC standout has an awfully hard time staying healthy, and that’s a shame since he was a solid player for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Although Rivers didn’t show it last year, he is usually sound when in coverage and can bring that to the table. Just don’t try to ask him to blitz too often from the 4-3 OLB slot, since that doesn’t work out to the best effect. Rivers finished with just three hurries on the quarterback last year per the Pro Football Focus.

Rivers’s best asset is his run defense, because he has good range out there and is a sure-handed tackler. He rarely misses tackles, except for the 2010 season in which the former first-round draft pick missed 14 of them. Last season, Rivers had 38 tackles in nine games (six starts), and he also made an impact on special teams with six tackles.

He likely received a one-year deal from the Giants due to his injury history, and he could be a quality starter again if he can get back on track health-wise. I like the fact that the Giants decided to bring him back, especially since they weren’t the ones who burned a top-ten pick on him back in 2008. Rivers might not make the Giants 53-man roster after training camp, but I think he should be able to make the cut and get some more decent playing time in 2013.

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Tags: Keith Rivers New York Giants

  • big daddy

    Reality, he is always injured but healthy he’s a top linebacker for a 4-3. He’s fast and strong, good hips so he can cover well and is a sure tackler. The fact is he cannot stay healthy, maybe, just maybe he will be healthy and have a breakout year, if not he will fill in and play well when he does. It’s a win win and inexpensive. I think Dansby wants too much money, can the Giants find some more? He’s the guy that would solidify the defense.

    • Joe Soriano

      I hope so too, because Rivers has shown he can be a solid starter when things are going right for him on the health front. Unfortunately, that’s the major flaw with Rivers, and it’s what makes him look like a total “bust” in some people’s eyes. I don’t think that holds true, because Rivers is, as you said, a very good tackler and somebody who can consistently make plays against the run. He has great speed at the position, and I think that helps him out with range more. His cover skills are above-average, but he did have some lapses this past season. Rivers is a nice low-risk deal considering hte possible reward if he is healthy.

      Dansby would be a nice signing and is a menace against the run, but I don’t think the Giants end up finding the cash to sign him. He’s one of the better ILBs in the game, but he is also 32 which will make his price tag drop. There is a possibility that the Giants sign him, but that depends on how much interest he gets from around the league. We’ll figure out his true price tag very soon, but I think it’s a bit early to tell since no teams have been linked to Dansby.