Message board rumors are one thing, but if it's a New York Giants rumor and Mike Garafolo thinks there might be something to it, I'm paying attention. Such is the case with this morning's whispers of a potential trade of Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers to the Giants. The idea makes sense, as Rivers is a spare part now in Cincinnati and the Giants need linebackers. And the ninth overall pick from the 2008 draft sure sounds like the kind of guy who would be an upgrade over what the Super Bowl champs currently have at the position. But there are some questions.
First is the question of what it would take to get him. The Eagles recently got middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans from Houston for a fourth-round pick. The Giants have two of those (their original and a compensatory one) and might be willing to part with one in order to get a potential 26-year-old solution to one of their biggest positional needs. But they may not need to pay that much. Rivers isn't as good a player as Ryans and doesn't play the middle (which would remain a need, unless the Giants plan to shift Michael Boley there). Rivers also missed all of the 2011 season with a wrist injury and is due $2.16 million this year -- two potential reasons the Bengals might give up him up for cheap.
The Giants don't have a ton of salary-cap room (about $3.4 million as of this time last week), so I guess it's possible they could trade a player currently on their roster in a deal to obtain Rivers, but I doubt it. If they were to acquire a player like this and still need cap room, I imagine the restructuring of some current deals would be the way to go.
Anyway, stay tuned, I guess. No idea when or whether we'll hear any more on this, but I knew it's something you guys would want to talk about this morning, so there you go.