The Dallas Cowboys announced Wednesday that they have signed former USC linebacker Keith Rivers to a one-year contract. The terms have not been disclosed yet, but it's likely for or close to the league minimum.
A Sports Illustrated All-American during his senior season at USC, Rivers was taken ninth overall in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Rivers was traded to the New York Giants in 2012 for a fifth round draft pick, and signed with the Buffalo Bills for the 2014 season. Rivers was cut by the Bills in February.
Rivers will probably play outside linebacker for the Cowboys, which is his natural position. He'll compete with Anthony Hitchens and Dekoda Watson most notably for that spot.
Cowboy outside linebackers Bruce Carter, Justin Durant and James Anderson are set to become free agents (along with middle 'backer Rolando McClain), so Rivers should get a chance to see significant snaps if he can stay on the roster this upcoming season.
Rivers is a low-risk signing for the Cowboys, but he does have high athletic upside. However, he has never consistently reached that potential in his NFL career thus far. Still, Cowboys' defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli got a lot out of the team's unremarkable defensive roster last season, so there may be hope for Rivers yet.