Source: Bengals 'far apart' on contract with draft pick Rivers
The Cincinnati Bengals and first-round pick Keith Rivers are still "far apart" in contract negotiations, a source told ESPN.com Sunday. Rivers, the No. 9 overall pick in April's NFL draft, has missed the entire first week of training camp with Cincinnati.
Keith Rivers talks about Club 55 and the rich tradition involved with his position at USC.
"A lot of this stuff we've already gone over, so he's heard it once through the minicamp," Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer told ESPN.com last week. "But now is when it's starting to get critical for him, because it's all starting to come together. Even if he came out tomorrow, he's got to learn [multiple] days of install in one day. So he's way behind the eight ball now. It's going to be tough."Third-year linebacker Brandon Johnson currently is getting reps with the first team at outside linebacker, but he is not considered the long-term solution. Cincinnati finished last season ranked No. 27 in overall defense, prompting the Bengals to select Rivers as their future cornerstone on defense. James Walker covers the NFL for ESPN.com.