The Giants are finalizing details on a trade with the Bengals for linebacker Keith Rivers, according to someone informed of the progress of talks. The person requested anonymity because final details are still being worked out.
"It's going to happen," the person wrote in an email.
Compensation between the sides remains unclear at this point.
Update: Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports via Twitter that he is being told the Giants will give their 2012 fifth-round pick to the Bengals.
The Giants need help at middle linebacker. This could free up Michael Boley to move to the middle from the weak side. Rivers, a former top-10 pick, could also be groomed to play the middle. Garafolo even brings up the possibility that Rivers could play on the strong side, moving Mathias Kiwanuka back to defensive end and making Osi Umenyiora available for trade.
With Rivers effectively only having one year left on his deal, and due $2.16 million, according to Garafolo, the cost of a fifth-round pick is fair. With an extra fourth round compensatory pick, the Giants shouldn't be hurt by the loss of a third-day pick.
The Giants were thought to possibly be targeting a linebacker early in the draft. While Rivers is not a long-term solution, he could reduce the need to find a linebacker who can start right away, allowing the Giants to take a more developmental prospect later in the draft.
The Bengals already have extra picks in the first and fifth rounds. Another extra pick could embolden them to move up in an early round for a falling target, although that is not Mike Brown's style. It is more likely that he'll use it throw another body at the team's various needs, including RB, WR, CB, pass-rusher and strong safety.