The Las Vegas Raiders have been big spenders this offseason. Not only were Davante Adams and Chandler Jones brought in on pricey contracts, but the team also gave extensions to Derek Carr and Maxx Crosby. The team is likely done spending a ton of money this offseason but there are more players who are going to need contracts.
The most notable players who need to be taken care of next are Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow while Josh Jacobs and Denzel Perryman would be in line after them. Waller is under contract for two more seasons but the Raiders signed him to an extension before he turned into a star. Last year, he hired Klutch Sports to represent him and they’re going to want him to get paid more than $7.6 million a year. According to Over The Cap, there are 16 tight ends getting paid more than Waller. He’s arguably one of the three best in the NFL so he’s overdue for a raise.
However, things are never that simple. The Raiders have another tight end they’re high on in Foster Moreau. He’s not as talented as Waller but he’s also a lot cheaper. The Athletic’s Vic Tafur doesn’t see the team giving Waller a new contract and believes this could be the tight end’s last season in Las Vegas.
“Obviously, Moreau will be a lot more affordable than Darren Waller but I think you can probably get Renfrow and Moreau done,” Tafur said on the State of the Nation podcast. “You have all these new contracts. You have Chandler Jones, Davante Adams, Carr … I kind of feel like Waller is kind of the odd man out. I think he probably won’t be here past this year but you never know.”
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Would Raiders Really Trade Waller?
Luckily for the Raiders, they have time to figure out what to do with Waller as there haven’t been rumblings of him looking for a new contract just yet. It appears he won’t hold their feet to the fire until the next offseason. Head coach Josh McDaniels knows how valuable an elite tight end can be and Waller is one of the best.
He would have a lot of value on the trade market as players like him aren’t easy to come by. However, new general manager Dave Ziegler has already shown that he’s not interested in hoarding draft picks. Waller makes the Raiders a better team so they should figure out a way to keep him.
Moreau Isn’t Comparable to Waller
If Moreau was truly going to be the right replacement for Waller then he would’ve stepped up when the Pro Bowler was injured last season. In the six games Waller missed, Moreau had 22 catches for 248 yards and one touchdown. Those aren’t terrible numbers but they also aren’t overly impressive.
Moreau is a really great second option at tight end but he’s just not on the same level as Waller. Perhaps McDaniels can bring out some more production from Moreau but he can’t compete with the otherworldly athleticism that Waller has.