Raiders

MAQB on Raiders TE Darren Waller: “It’d be good business to take care of him.”

The Las Vegas Raiders have made sure to tie several of their players to long-term contracts this offseason. However, Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller isn’t one of them.

Waller went from being a practice squad player for the Baltimore Ravens to becoming a revelation for the Raiders. His journey has been inspirational and well-documented. Now, Waller finds himself in the conversation about who’s the top tight end in the NFL. Alongside Travis Kelce and George Kittle, Waller has a stake in that claim despite a down season statistically. With new Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels now running the Raiders’ offense, Waller figures to be a pivotal contributor in the coming years. One issue with that sentiment is his contractual status.

Will the Raiders sign Darren Waller to an extension before the regular season?

The subject of recent chatter by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Waller is set to make $6.25 million as his base salary over each of the next two years. In addition, he can make up to half a million in per-game roster bonuses, according to Florio. This is significant because of the recent extension received by the Cleveland Browns’ David Njoku. His annual salary shot up to $14.18 million per season. Njoku is a talented player, but surely, he doesn’t have the same impact that Waller has on a game-to-game basis.

Naturally, the conversation would shift to a possible holdout for Waller with training camp getting closer. Albert Breer of Monday Afternoon Quarterback also weighed in on the matter yesterday.

“Darren Waller’s contract situation with the Raiders merits attention, of course, because of who he is as a player. But I don’t think there’ll be a ton of drama here. San Francisco’s George Kittle and Kansas City’s Travis Kelce clearly defined the top of the tight end market, and if Vegas has to go a little past $15 million per on a new-money average, I think they’d be OK with it, especially considering where the receiver market is and what Josh McDaniels can do in his offense with a versatile tight end. Also worth noting: Waller’s been a monster early on in the offseason program, better than the new guys even expected. So, it’d be good business to take care of him.”

It appears there will be many intangibles with regard to Waller’s future. How much of a commitment are the Raiders comfortable making? Would Waller seriously consider holding out? No doubt these decisions are being mulled over behind closed doors. It will be an interesting next couple of months for the Raiders.

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*Top Photo: AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

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