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Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Bengals are winners in Keith Rivers trade

By Jamison Hensley

The rumored trade of linebacker Keith Rivers to the New York Giants appears to be a reality, even though the Bengals have yet to announce the move.

Multiple outlets, including the NFL's official website, are reporting that the Bengals received a fifth-round pick from the Super Bowl champions in exchange for the oft-injured Rivers. Even Rivers has confirmed the deal, tweeting out the "Theme from New York, New York." (On a side note, Rivers' first misstep is attributing the quote to "Frank Santria.")

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.

This is not a surprise because the Bengals continue to come out on top in such moves. Since last July, Cincinnati has traded away two players for draft picks and gotten the better end of the deal both times. The Bengals sent wide receiver Chad Ochocinco to the Patriots for a fifth-round pick this year and a sixth-rounder in 2013. Then, they dealt quarterback Carson Palmer to the Raiders for a first-round selection this year and a second-rounder in 2013.

The Bengals now have nine draft picks: First round (17th and 21st overall), second round (53rd), third round (83rd), fourth round (116th), fifth round (156th, 166th and 167th) and sixth round (191st).