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Bengals Win Again: This time against Keith Rivers

The Cincinnati Bengals traded Keith Rivers after an offseason dispute that led to a grievance. Rivers, who wanted to prove the Bengals wrong for trading him, didn't.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Linebacker Keith Rivers arrived to training camp in 2011 with a wrist injury that required significant surgery, ending his season months before it even began. Cincinnati placed him on the non-football injury list while Rivers had preferred the Physically Unable to Perform list, which would have allowed him to collect his salary.

Figuring that this relationship had reached an end, and Cincinnati finding limited value in continuing with Rivers, the Bengals traded him to the New York Giants for a fifth-round pick -- which led to starting safety George Iloka. Rivers filed a grievance against the Bengals, but information about what happened afterwards is scattered.

In two seasons, Rivers played 27 games, starting 14 with 89 combined tackles and a quarterback sack. Jordan Raanan with doesn't expect the former first-rounder to return with the Giants.

Rivers failed to make a significant impact in either of his two seasons with the Giants. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell never seemed willing to use him as more than a two-down linebacker, and he was often an afterthought in the game plan. That’s likely an indictment on Rivers’ ability more than anything. Remember, the Bengals were more than willing to dump the first-round pick after three years for a late-round selection.

At the end of the day, the Bengals won. Obviously drafting him in the first place suggests that they didn't. It's no secret that the Bengals had issues with the draft until the last 3-4 years. But the they shed dead weight for a starting safety. That's a win, all things considered.