The Las Vegas Raiders are preparing for their first game of the regular season against the Los Angeles Chargers and excitement is high. However, there’s one lingering issue facing the team. Star tight end Darren Waller wants a new contract but still hasn’t gotten one.
There’s no denying he’s looking to get an upgrade from being the 17th highest-paid tight end in the NFL. That was exaggerated by the fact that he recently fired Klutch Sports and hired Drew Rosenhaus to represent him. Waller has yet to receive a new contract but the situation could be resolved soon.
There was talk earlier in the offseason of the tight end possibly getting traded with the Green Bay Packers named as an interested party. Waller wants to stay with the Raiders and the feeling appears to be mutual. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Las Vegas doesn’t want to see the tight end wear another uniform throughout his career.
“So the Raiders are thinking, ‘hey, we can lock him up for another three years after that so he can retire a Raider.’ He’s only 29 years old – that’s the goal,” Fowler said on “Sportscenter.”
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Can Raiders Get a Deal Done With Waller?
The Raiders don’t have much time before the regular season starts so it’s looking like Waller might have to wait a little longer to get his contract. That’s not ideal for either party. The last thing Las Vegas wants is for one of their best players to be distracted once the season begins.
While Waller has never held out, he’s not above sitting out games with minor injuries until he gets more guaranteed money. Nobody can fault him for wanting to be careful before he secures what he’s owed. Waller is a top-three tight end but there are 16 others who are paid more than him. The Raiders appear motivated to get him a fair contract and may even be willing to make him the highest-paid tight end in the NFL. Momentum has been building that a deal gets done but Waller might have to wait until after Week 1 to get his contract.
Should Raiders Pay Waller?
The Raiders already have a lot of money tied up in wide receivers Hunter Renfrow and Davante Adams. It could be overkill to pay another weapon big money. However, Waller is a special player and his presence will make Adams and Renfrow better. The Raiders’ offensive line isn’t great and that’s not going to change this season. The only way the offense is going to thrive is if they have elite weapons.
Losing Waller would be a huge blow to the offense’s potential. The Raiders should do what they can to make the tight end happy. The fact that he’s already 29 is a bit concerning but Travis Kelce is 32 and just came off of a year where he had 1,125 receiving yards. With the way Waller works and the fact that he didn’t take much of a beating for the first chunk of his career, it’s possible that he’s an elite tight end for another four or five seasons.
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