First rule of Rex Ryan: If you don’t fit in his scheme, you won’t last long.
The Buffalo Bills have released LB Keith Rivers after the former Bengals and Giants LB struggled to make an impact in his first year with the team.
The decision to release Rivers comes as the Bills are preparing for a spending spree in free agency.
Saves $1.7M against the cap RT @AroundTheNFL: Bills announce the release of LB Keith Rivers, a poor fit for Rex Ryan’s defensive scheme.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 17, 2015
With the Bills shifting from a 43 defense to a 34 defense under new head coach Rex Ryan, Rivers – who works primarily as an OLB in a 43 defense – became expendable.
He recorded less than 20 tackles in 12 games played in 2014, and didn’t record a single tick on the stat sheet after a Week 10 Bills loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rivers was drafted No. 9 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008 after a stellar career with the USC Trojans. It would prove to be a decision the Bengals would come to regret, as the next two LBs taken in the draft were 2008 Defensive Rookie of the Year Jerod Mayo and New Orleans star LB Curtis Lofton.
In seven NFL seasons, Rivers has played in only one 16-game season and has never started more than 13 games in any year. In the last four seasons he has managed a grand total of 17 starts.