One of the best deals in the NFL right now is how much the Las Vegas Raiders are paying tight end Darren Waller. Shortly before he became a household name in 2019, the team handed him a contract extension that pays him just a tad over $6 million a year through 2023. Considering he’s one of the three best tight ends in the NFL, that deal is an absolute steal.
Waller hasn’t voiced any displeasure but he has decided to shake up his representation. Klutch Sports announced on Wednesday that they are welcoming the Raiders Pro Bowler to the team.
Notably, Klutch Sports is mostly known for representing NBA superstars LeBron James, Anthony Davis and many more. However, they have recently started to dip their toes in the NFL. Chase Young and Devonta Smith are a couple of notable players who are also Klutch clients. Waller may be the biggest NFL client they’ve landed yet if he continues to play at an elite level.
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Raiders May Have to Pay up Sooner They Would’ve Liked
While this is interesting news for Waller, the Raiders are likely to start sweating here soon. As noted previously, Waller is playing at a huge discount for the team. Klutch Sports isn’t going to like that very much. It’s hard to imagine Waller holding out or anything of that nature but Klutch could start applying pressure.
We just saw Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews get $14 million a year, which is more than double what Waller is set to make. Andrews is very good but nobody would argue that he’s better than the Raiders tight end. George Kittle is the highest-paid tight end in the NFL at $15 million a year. Whenever it’s time for Waller to get his next contract, it will likely be even more than that. Due to a slow start to his NFL career, Waller hasn’t made too much money. He’s going to want to get paid eventually. It just depends when Klutch and he start applying pressure to Las Vegas.
Raiders Have to Keep Waller Happy
Heading into the 2021 season, Waller is the Raiders’ best player. He has back-to-back seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards and could be even better this year. He’s not just the team’s best tight end, he’s their best receiving option overall. The Raiders were very wise to extend him when they did but things have changed.
Before the team paid him, he wasn’t considered a top-three tight end. Now that he’s proven to be elite, Waller deserves to be paid what he’s worth. Nothing will likely happen during the season, which means the Raiders shouldn’t have to worry about it yet. However, when the offseason rolls around and he’s coming off another great year, Klutch could start pushing for a raise. The Raiders would be wise to give him what he wants considering they’ve had elite production from him at a discount. They also don’t want to potentially hurt the relationship with their best player.