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Jonathan Goff set to leave, Keith Rivers on the way?

As has become tradition, the Giants continue to crawl to the off-season while many teams around the league choose to make their splash in the Spring.  Reese’s deliberate and measured style in free agency is not sexy but it has addressed personnel issues effectively enough to deliver two titles.  For those of you looking for some headline stuff… 

-It seems that Jonathan Goff is headed out the door, ending what looked to be a potentially promising career before his knee injury slowed him down.

Via the Daily News– “It’s looking more and more like Jonathan Goff will not be the Giants’ MLB next season. Goff, who missed the entire 2011 season after tearing his ACL in the preseason, reportedly worked out for the Miami Dolphins recently. He also worked out for the Cleveland Browns last month…” 

Goff seems to be intent on going the way of Steve Smith post-injury and not the path of defensive teammates Mathias Kiwanuka and Terrell Thomas. No big deal. Not sure what really could have been expected out of Goff in 2012 after coming off of an ACL injury. We also don’t know what exactly a healthy Goff can offer to the Giants. Certainly not this. Or this. Last one. 

Regardless, help may be on the way. 

Mike Garafolo of The Star Ledger explained that he has been looking into a rumor that began on another Giants blog, one that seems to be picking up steam as Mikey G digs deeper:

“Someone alerted me to the post last night and I did some checking. If this one is out of left field and completely bogus, no one has told me that yet. In fact, I get the impression the Huddle’s sleuth is hot on the trail of this one. As I said on Twitter, there might be some fire behind this smoke. Adding to my suspicions is the fact Rivers is in the area right now. The former USC standout, whom the Bengals selected ninth overall in 2008, tweeted to someone Tuesday night he’s“stopping in NYC” on his way back from a trip to France and Italy. Of course, if you follow his timeline, you’ll see he stopped here on the way out as well.”

While Rivers has yet to settle in and provide a lights out season because of some injuries, he is still a 25 year old linebacker with no “ailments.” His impressive rookie season was cut short thanks to a Hines Ward crack-back block and he missed 2011 with a wrist injury. As Garafolo points out, Rivers’ injuries are nothing that will reoccur if he were to get a fresh start with the Giants:

“In some ways, a trade for Rivers would make sense for the Giants. They’d get a guy who has a lot of talent at a position of need and would be buying low because he missed all of last season with a wrist issue that required surgery. Sure, that would be a concern but it’s not like it’s, say, an ACL – the injury Jonathan Goff is trying to overcome.”

Garafolo also points out that while Rivers would help fill a hole for the Giants at linebacker- the MLB position.

“Jerry Reese did mention Boley as a candidate to move into the middle, however, and there’s always a chance Mathias Kiwanuka could bounce back to end should Osi Umenyiora head elsewhere. Or maybe it’s as simple as the Giants’ thinking the 6-2, 242-pound Rivers can play the middle.”

I agree with that sentiment. First off, the Giants base defense is a nickel package that only features two linebackers on the field. Our defense lives and dies with our pass rush and the coverage behind it. I just can’t find a problem with having another linebacker who can play in space. Can’t have too many of those. Why force yourself to acquire a MLB just because. Give me a guy who is going to be effective on 60% of the plays rather then the guy who will only have an impact when teams run the football. In those situations where Fewell did feel the need to bring out the 4-3, the Giants would be more than fine with some combo of Michael Boley, Jacquin Williams, Kiwi and Rivers.

I can’t imagine it will cost too much to acquire Rivers. Take a look at the Eagles deal with DeMeco Ryans for starters, where they gave up a fourth rounder for the talented MLB. Gotta think Rivers will run Big Blue even less then that since he essentialy lost his job to Thomas Howard as OTAs approach and there have even been rumors of him being released. 

Maybe the Giants acquire Rivers and he takes advantage of the fresh start and has some better fortune with injuries. Or maybe this Rivers rumor is just that and fizzles out as soon as this afternoon. Generally chasing rumors is not something we do on this NY Giants blog, but this one could make sense if it materializes. 

At the end of the day, I trust that the Giants will do their homework on Rivers, his injuries and his potential.  If he can be signed for the right price it would make a lot of sense.  It fits with Reese’s general approach and would address a need.