Darren Waller

Trading Darren Waller Should Be On The Table This Offseason

It’s been an underwhelming 2022 season for Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller, and that’s putting it nicely. Many (but not all) Raiders fans have turned on Waller; some question his demeanor: is he still committed to being one of the best at his position? Is his focus lacking? Some point to his crucial drops earlier in the season as evidence. Well, that’s when he was still playing, something he hasn’t done much of this year due to nagging injuries. Is there any chance that general manager Dave Ziegler is having buyer’s remorse?

Will the Las Vegas Raiders end up keeping Darren Waller after this season?

Ryan Holmes of the “Put On Raiders Podcast” posed an interesting question that’s making its way through social media right now. Essentially, it deals with the future of the Raiders’ big offensive trio, excluding Davante Adams and Derek Carr. We’re referring to Waller, Hunter Renfrow, and this year’s standout, Josh Jacobs. As most are aware, Jacobs is set to be a free agent next offseason. Ziegler could use the franchise tag to keep him around. However, doing so would most likely cost around $10 million or more.

Renfrow, for his part, wasn’t meshing too well in Josh McDaniels’ offensive scheme, which was highly disappointing. The concussion he suffered in the Arizona Cardinals’ game was also a huge setback this season. So which combination of the aforementioned players should the Raiders’ brass keep next season?

If Ziegler decides to part ways with either Waller or Renfrow, say, via trade, the Raiders will save themselves a nice stack of cash. Looking at their cap situation via Over The Cap, if Waller is traded prior to June 1st next year, the Raiders will save about $12 million in cap savings. For Renfrow, if he’s traded, Ziegler will save his team about $6 million. Now, the issue here is that, when compared to Renfrow, Waller’s dead cap hit is nowhere near as big; Renfrow carries a $7.3 million dead cap hit in 2023. Which route would you take?

*Top Photo: Andrew Nelles/Tennessean.com

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