He was a UFA in 01
I think that his blocking improved quite a bit since he was in college.
I've seen Rivers play in a couple of games and his blocking looks decent. He's definitely a better blocker than Miller. He's not quite as fast as miller and his hands aren't as good. But, he is much faster than Bruener and his hands are quite better. Pat Kirwan had him rated the #2 TE available behind Cam Cleeland, but, I think Cleeland is as slow as Bruener. I think Cam's hands are better than Bruener's, but he can't block as well. So why would we want another slow TE ? I think out of the choices Rivers was the best choice for us. Unless they went after Bubba Franks, obviously. But, since they didn't sign him, hopefully they are saving that cap room to improve the line.
To tell you the truth, I think that Rivers is a better player right now that Joppru. Rivers has played four years already, and he's a decent red zone target, since 4 of his 27 catches were for touchdowns. 15% isn't too shabby. So he should give Carr another redzone target, wouldn't that be nice.
My predictions for Rivers 38 catches, 336 yards, 5 TDs
I hope I'm wrong and he does better than that.