ESPN: Bengals Are Winners In Keith Rivers Trade

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 24: Jason Snelling #44 of the Atlanta Falcons stiff arms Keith Rivers #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals at Georgia Dome on October 24 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Now that the Keith Rivers trade is official, many are weighing in on who the true winners of the trade are. When we posted that the Rivers deal was all but official yesterday, many of you felt that the trade went heavily in favor of the Giants since they gave a fifth-round pick that borders on being a sixth. However, not all analysts agree that the Bengals got taken to the cleaners in the trade.

ESPN AFC North Blogger, Jamison Hensley, feels that Cincinnati got the better end of the deal, given the compensation and the player that was traded.

Keep in mind that when Hensley wrote this, the trade wasn't official, yet. However, now that it is and none of the trade compensation has changed, I'm sure his opinion is the same today as it was yesterday. Here's some excerpts from the write-up:

Once again, the Bengals are the winners in a trade. Cincinnati is getting the 167th overall pick for a first-round pick who could never stay healthy. Rivers has talent but he missed 29 games in four seasons. A wrist injury sidelined him for the entire 2011 season.

So, the Bengals got a fifth-rounder when they probably would've taken anything to unload the disappointing No. 9 pick from the 2008 draft and his $2.1 million salary. That's the best offer that the Bengals could've received for Rivers, who lost his starting job to Thomas Howard and would've played special teams this season.

How lucky are the Bengals to get a fifth-round pick? The Texans got a fourth-rounder for middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans, who was the franchise's all-time leading tackler and a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

We touched on the fact that getting a pick just a round lower than what the Texans got for a far superior linebacker seemed like fair market value. Rivers hasn't played in close to half of the games in his career because of injury, and was going to be supplanted as the starting weakside linebacker by Thomas Howard. With Roddrick Muckelroy coming back from an injury and Brandon Johnson still on the team's radar, it's unlikely that they'll skip a beat without Rivers.

That's not to say that the Giants didn't make a good trade, either. They were in a bad way at the linebacker position and needed some depth there. From the viewpoint of a Giants fan, I can see how they'd be excited about getting a former top-ten pick to the defending Super Bowl Champions' roster, in exchange for a low pick.

The truth is that the trade was mutually beneficial. However, we agree with Hensley's viewpoint that the Bengals were winners to get something for a player that was likely going to be cut or relegated to backup duty. It will be interesting to see what the team does with their three fifth-round picks in a couple of weeks.

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