The Raiders like their tight ends so much they reportedly consider one member of the group expendable.
That man is Mychal Rivera, a quality receiver selected in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Thursday that the Raiders are expected to make him available via trade heading toward the NFL draft.
Rivera could garner a lower-round draft pick after recording 128 receptions for 1,221 yards and nine touchdowns in three professional seasons. Last season, his first in Bill Musgrave’s system, was his worst. He hit lows with 32 receptions for 280 yards, a touchdown and 8.8 yards per reception in just 413 offensive snaps.
Rivera played significant snaps early in his career, but the Raiders upgraded significantly at the tight end spot after head coach Jack Del Rio got hired. They signed veteran blocking tight end Lee Smith and drafted Clive Walford in the third round last year. They also kept Gabe Holmes around in 2015 after another team tried to poach him off the practice squad.
Walford made great strides as a rookie, and has the versatility the Raiders prize from their primary tight end. He is expected to assume significant responsibility in 2016. Smith fills his role well and Holmes can continue to develop behind that set.
Rivera is entering the final year of his four-year rookie contract, and the ESPN report suggests he isn’t in the team’s long-term plans.