Moving up, or moving on? Vol. 4: Tight Ends

The tight end position is arguably the most complete unit the Raiders have. Last season, it produced two of Derek Carr’s top “go-to-guys”, Darren Waller, Foster Moreau and solid contributor Derek Carrier. Will that group be shaken up in the offseason? It’s doubtful.

Moving up, or moving on? Vol. 4: Raiders Tight Ends

Darren Waller

Moving up: Waller just inked a four-year deal that is friendly to the team. Each year is around $6-7 million with no dead money and if he continues to shine as he did in 2019 (90 receptions on 117 targets for 1,145 yards and 3 touchdowns), I expect him to earn every dollar. Beyond the stats, he’s got a good comeback story and makes it easy for people to root for. He will be a solid piece to this group for years to come, and he has the perfect complementing piece in…

Foster Moreau

Moving Up: As I mentioned in my Year in Review article, Moreau was brought in to block, but exceeded expectations and was a solid pass catcher. He moved the chains repeatedly and posted decent numbers. He caught 21 of 25 targets for 174 yards and five touchdowns. For all the naysayers, this backup rookie tight end got the second most touchdowns on the team and while Moreau is primarily used as a blocker, I don’t foresee him challenging Waller for the top spot. They are really complimenting pieces to each other and could form the best tight end tandem, but not to leave out the last main cog….

Related: Moving up or moving on? Vol. 3 Wide Receiver

Derek Carrier

Moving up: Carrier is the weak link in this tight end group, but he has risen to the occasion the few times his number was called. In the past two years with the Raiders, he was only targeted 31 times, bringing in 20 of them for 175 yards and two touchdowns. He is owed 1.8 million this year, being his last year on contract, but can be dropped for nothing if necessary. I don’t see them going that route though. He is worth keeping for at least one more year to assist Waller and Moreau.

Eric Tomlinson

Moving on: Tomlinson was signed towards the end of the season when Moreau went down and had 1 reception for 1 yard. Even though the Raiders could bring him back for camp depth, I doubt he will be back.

Whoever else?

After drafting Moreau last year and signing Waller to an extension, I don’t see them pursuing this position. Maybe an undrafted rookie for camp depth, but I’m not even sure of that.

Final words

Waller is a nice pass catcher and Moreau is a great blocker. When needed though, I’ve seen Waller throw out a nice block, and I’ve seen Moreau catch critical passes too. That is why they balance each other out. Add in Carrier, known to do both as well, and this is a solid group moving to Sin City. I, for one, look forward to seeing Waller and Moreau in Year 2 as a Raider. I am also curious to see how Carrier does on a contract year. Could he get back in the mix and get an extension? Anything is possible.

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