The Oakland Raiders are reportedly expected to make tight end Mychal Rivera available in trade talks leading up to the 2016 NFL draft.
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Raiders Reportedly Want to Deal Rivera, Expand Clive Walford's Role
Thursday. March 31
ESPN Insider Adam Schefter reported the rumor on Rivera. Oakland drafted Clive Walford in the third round last year, lending logic to the Raiders' apparent decision to shop Rivera.
Adam Caplan of ESPN supplied additional context to the trade buzz:
Rivera has an ideal combination of production and youth to be a valuable trade commodity. He ranked third on the team in receptions in 2014 with 58 and had 534 yards receiving with four touchdowns.
But the arrival of Walford as direct competition and the additions of receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper diminished the need for Rivera in the passing game this past season.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had superior options to throw to and targeted Walford more often than Rivera in 2015. Although Rivera logged 32 catches, he had just 8.8 yards per grab, compared to Walford's 11.8-yard average on 28 receptions.
He isn't the most explosive player, yet Rivera has shown he can be a reliable pass-catcher and could prove to be a solid short-term investment. The 25-year-old is entering the last year of his rookie contract, and it may be in his best interest to lobby for a trade due to his diminishing role in Oakland.