Last year the Raiders set out to upgrade the tight end position in a big way. They drafted Clive Walford in the third round and signed Lee Smith to a good sized contract. Those moves put former starter, Mychal Rivera down the depth chart. Now he is expected to be available for trade according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Rivera is a former sixth round pick by the Raiders, who also chose tight end Nick Kasa earlier in the same round. Kasa's career could never get going, while Rivera immediately became the team's leading tight end receiving target with 38 catches for 407 and 4 touchdowns as a rookie.
In his second season, Rivera improved on his rookie numbers, catching 58 passes for 534 yards which was second on the team behind only wide receiver James Jones.
The issue for the 6-3, 242 pound Rivera has always been blocking. It made it difficult to employ him as a primary tight end. He was simply the Raiders best option over his first two seasons. He can still be valuable, but if that value comes in trade, perhaps to acquire draft picks or move up in the draft, it's something the Raiders would be open to.