Darren Waller Makes Telling Admission About Raiders Trade

darren waller

Getty New York Giants TE Darren Waller.

One of the biggest moves of the offseason was when the New York Giants sent a third-round pick to the Las Vegas Raiders to land star tight end Darren Waller. His first two full years with the Raiders were impressive as he had 1,145 receiving yards in 2019 and then broke the team’s reception record with 107 catches in 2020.

He landed a three-year contract extension from general manager Dave Ziegler last year, but he fell out of favor with the coaching staff quickly due to injuries. He was limited to just nine games last season with a hamstring injury. He was linked to a number of trade rumors during the season with The Athletic’s Vic Tafur reporting on November 6, 2022, that the Green Bay Packers offered a second-round pick for Waller. The Raiders decided to hang onto him only to trade him in the offseason. For his part, Waller wasn’t too surprised when he got the news that he was traded.

“Not totally shocked,” Waller said of the Raiders trade on the red carpet of his foundation’s event at Aria in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 22, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I had heard some things. There were different moments throughout the year that I heard I may be traded or I may not. So the actual event of it wasn’t too shocking.

“But I didn’t expect it to be the Giants.”

Why Was Darren Waller Traded?

Darren Waller became one of the faces of the Raiders in recent years and quickly immersed himself in the Las Vegas community. He even married Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum shortly before getting sent to New York. There could be many factors as to why he was traded, but he’s not going to overthink it. He’s just ready to move and start the next chapter of his career.

“I’m done questioning God and what he’s trying to do,” Waller said. “He’s gotten me to this point. I know that he’s going to continue to have a plan for me, you know?”

Waller Excited About Joining the New York Giants

There was excitement surrounding the idea of Josh McDaniels being able to utilize Darren Waller at tight end. Under McDaniels, Rob Gronkowski became a future Hall of Famer. However, Waller and Gronkowski have different playing styles. The former is fast and athletic while the latter is big and runs excellent routes. Waller may just not have been a fit with McDaniels, which is why they drafted Michael Mayer in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft to replace him. Regardless, Waller isn’t too upset about having to move. He’s quite excited about joining a Giants team that made the playoffs last season.

“It’s been great,” Waller said. “It’s been a great challenge. I love a good challenge and just forming a new relationship with my teammates. They’re really excited about winning. They’re really solid about doing things the right way and continuing to build a foundation on what they started last year. I’m just excited to be a part of it.”

With New York having a young wide receiver corps without a star, Waller should be a major focal point in the offense this season.