Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bills shift focus to defense, sign Graham, Rivers


After addressing key needs on offense, general manager Doug Whaley shifted gears Tuesday afternoon and began focusing on the other side of the ball.

The team officially announced two acquisitions to its defensive squad -- linebacker Keith Rivers, formerly of the New York Giants, and cornerback Corey Graham from the Baltimore Ravens. The deals are for two and four years, respectively, and bring some depth in two much-needed positions for the Bills.

"Words can not describe how excited I am, it almost seems surreal," Graham said via Jeff Russo of WKBW in Buffalo. "As a kid I dreamed about one day playing for the Bills and to have this opportunity is a dream come true."

Graham is a Buffalo native and brings back with him some quality experience, both in the secondary and on special teams, along with a Super Bowl ring and a Pro Bowl nod. He tallied four interceptions last year with the Ravens to go along with his 74 combined tackles.

Rivers, who started 14 games the past two seasons with the Giants, adds a veteran presence and some depth to a linebacking corps in need of some able bodies. He amassed 42 tackles and a sack last year, and has tallied 262 tackles in his 47 career starts. The 27-year-old was solid against the run last year will likely fit well into Jim Schwartz's 4-3 schematic.

Graham's deal is reportedly worth $16 million over his four years, while Rivers is slated to make $5 million over his two years, with half of that guaranteed.

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