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Former Bengals LB Keith Rivers retires from NFL

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Keith Rivers' shortcomings with the Bengals helped lead to them getting George Iloka, one of the NFL's best young safeties.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers is retiring from the NFL.

The Bengals selected Rivers with the 9th pick in the 2008 NFL Draft out of USC. Rivers will go down as one of the bigger letdowns in Bengals history after playing just 74 career games in seven seasons. Rivers was on the Bengals for four seasons, however, he only played three seasons with the Bengals after missing the entire 2011 season with a wrist injury.

Sadly, injuries were a major theme in his career as he missed 38 games during his seven years in the league. 29 of those missed games came with the Bengals, highlighted by a season-ending jaw injury suffered his rookie season against the Steelers after being lit up by wide receiver Hines Ward.

During his career, Rivers racked up 291 tackles, two interceptions, one forced fumble, and three sacks. While his career with the Bengals left a lot to be desired, Rivers did ultimately leave the team with a parting gift that made up for his shortcomings in Cincinnati.

That was the 2012 trade between the Bengals and Giants that sent Rivers to New York in exchange for a fifth-round pick. That pick would later be used to select Boise State safety George Iloka, who's become one of the game's top safeties and is entering just his fourth NFL season.

Though it was just a fifth-round pick, the Bengals clearly got the better end of that deal. Rivers would play just two years with the G-Men and register 99 tackles in 27 games. Rivers then went on to play with the Bills for one season in 2014 where he had 16 tackles in 12 games.

Rivers signed with the Cowboys this offseason, but will now go on their reserve/retired list.