It was rumored to be true a while ago, but it is now confirmed, at least according to Tony Pauline:
I can also confirm Richard Rodgers/TE/Cal has also signed with an agent and is in the 2014 NFL Draft...— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) December 27, 2013
Rodgers is a big loss, as he provided something no other Cal receiver does: a unique combination of size and strength.Still, he is not irreplaceable.
The returning group of wideouts -- Harper, Powe, Lawler, Treggs, Davis, and more -- is still extremely deep and talented even without him. This move will likely cause some mixing and matching while the team settles on new starters at Y and H, but nothing too dramatic beyond that. [I have long thought Chris Harper to be more effective there than at outside, so that's my vote.]
I'm told Richard Rodgers/TE/Cal has received some second round grades- athletically being compared to Antonio Gates..— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) December 27, 2013
At 6'4, 245 pounds, Rodgers will definitely be drafted somewhere -- tight ends with his dimensions and athleticism have been all the rage -- but I, and I'm sure many of you, feel that he could have boosted his draft stock dramatically with another strong season at the college level. In his first year in the new Bear Raid offense, Rodgers hauled in a solid 39 passes for 608 yards, yet was not always a factor, providing tantalizing glimpses at his capabilities, but never fully exercising them. Another year could have showcased his talents even better.
Regardless, we wish Richard the best in his future endeavors. May he continue the strong legacy of Cal alums excelling at the next level.