Raiders Extend TE Darren Waller

The Raiders are signing breakout tight end Darren Waller to an extension through the 2023 season, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). The team has since confirmed the transaction.

Oakland already controlled Waller’s rights for the 2020 campaign, as the former sixth-round pick had been scheduled to become a restricted free agent next spring. Waller’s new deal is essentially a three-year extension on top of what would have been a one-year RFA tender, tweets Pelissero, adding Waller will collect roughly $9MM annually under his new pact.

Waller has played in just five games as a result of the Raiders’ early bye week, but he still ranks second to only Austin Hooper in receptions among tight ends, and is sixth at the position with 359 receiving yards. Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus grades Waller as the league’s ninth-best run-blocking tight end.

Waller, 27, was selected by the Ravens in the 2015 draft. Suspended twice by the NFL (the second time for a full season), Waller has since courageously overcome addictions involving cocaine and opiates. Oakland signed him off Baltimore’s practice squad last November, and has been rewarded with one of the more surprising stories of the 2019 season.

While full details of Waller’s extension aren’t in just yet, a $9MM annual average would rank fifth among tight ends behind Jimmy Graham, Travis Kelce, Jordan Reed, Kyle Rudolph, and Greg Olsen. In terms of guarantees, Trey Burton leads the way with the $22MM he received under his free agent deal with the Bears.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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13 comments on “Raiders Extend TE Darren Waller

  1. dustyceltics

    Chances are he might get in trouble again.. I hope not I really do.. but just saying from other players in the league.

    • JT19

      Considering his previous career high for yards is 85, I would say yes. And you can’t blame him for the TDs since Carr doesn’t even seem to look his way down in the redzone.

    • macdaddy96

      Considering he’s on pace for 118 receptions and almost 1200 yards receiving, I’d say yes.

  2. goldenstatelaw

    Appears to be a healthy commitment from the team after a mutually beneficial relationship. This contract sends a strong message to the team. Work with us, hear us, be available – and you will get paid.

    • macdaddy96

      Essentially a 4 year 28 million dollar deal since the contract kicks in after next year, in which he’ll make about 1 million. Not steep at all.

  3. Appalachian_Outlaw

    Extremely happy to see him get this deal. This guy is a TE that plays like a WR, but can also still block. Beyond that though, it’s nice to see the Raiders securing a young building block. They’re pulling some pieces together now. Gruden’s taken some heat, but I think the plan has always been build for LV. He just didn’t want to out and say it. Plan looks on track, though!

    • Junkyard dog

      He’s actually a WR that wasn’t quick enough or good enough route runner to stay at WR. So the Ravens converted him into a TE. Similar to Ricky Seals-Jones with the Browns former big bodied WR converted to TE.

      If he would have stopped getting suspended and injured he’d still be around.

  4. Junkyard dog

    Glad to see Waller putting it all together, I hope this dude doesn’t screw up again. He’s already had three different suspensions and a couple of injuries.

    Also it really annoyed me hearing Colin Cowherd say “Gruden fleeced the Ravens stealing Waller away!” The Ravens held on to Darren Waller for 3 long years based on potential alone. If the guy wasn’t suspended so much he could have easily been the TE ahead of Maxx Williams & Crocket Gilmore. He’s been gone from Baltimore for 2 years. Once the Ravens drafted 2 TEs there was definitely no need to entertain him any longer.

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