JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed fifth-year TE Mychal Rivera as an unrestricted free agent, the team announced today.
“[Head] Coach Doug Marrone is going to come in and change the culture around here,” said Rivera. “It is all about winning now. That is all I am about. Just like Oakland did – they turned it around – I am ready for Jacksonville to do the same thing.”
Rivera, 6-3, 245, has spent the entirety of his four-year career in Oakland, where he totaled 146 receptions for 1,413 yards (9.7 rec. avg.) and 10 TDs in 61 career games (15 starts). The Valencia, Calif. native was selected in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, and led all Raiders rookies during his inaugural year with 38 receptions for 407 yards (10.7 rec. avg.) and four TDs. Rivera began his NFL career by seeing action in all 16 games during his first three seasons, becoming the first Raider since 2010-12 (OL Jared Veldeer and LB Lamarr Houston) to play in 48 games over his first three seasons. Rivera set career highs in 2014 with 10 starts and 58 receptions for 534 yards (9.2 avg.) with four TDs.
“This is just an incredible opportunity,” added Rivera. “I’m extremely thankful. It takes a lot of hard work to even make it to the NFL, to even get the eyes of the scouts, but to make it to a second contract and have the opportunity to come to an organization like this and to have the opportunity to show the NFL what I can do and continue to play my career and expand on what I can do – it is truly a blessing. I am very happy.”
Rivera competed collegiately at Tennessee after transferring from the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif. and after originally attending Oregon. At Tennessee, he played in 37 games with 35 starts, totaling 76 receptions for 1,018 yards and six TDs. Rivera became the second TE in program history to finish his career with more than 1,000 receiving yards, ranking second only to Reggie Harper (1,141). As a senior, he ranked third on the team with 36 catches for 562 yards and five TDs and was named first-team All-SEC by the conference’s coaches. Rivera also set school TE records with 562 receiving yards, snapping the previous mark set by Jason Witten (493 yards) in 2002.
Rivera attended Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, Calif. where he was teammates with current Jaguars DT Malik Jackson, and helped the team win the league title with a 13-1 record, as well as a fourth-place state ranking during his senior year. Rivera was also teammates with Jackson at Tennessee. Rivera can be found on Twitter at @MychaelRivera.