Darren Waller

Raiders, TE Darren Waller Agree To Extension

SEPTEMBER 11: Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network offers some insight on Waller’s new deal (Twitter link). Waller will earn roughly $10MM more over the next two years than he would have under his old contract, which jibes with OverTheCap.com’s breakdown. Per OTC, Waller will earn $11MM in base pay in 2022 and ’23, a $4MM raise over the $7MM payouts he was previously scheduled to take home in those two seasons. Combine that base salary with the $1.275MM in per-game roster bonuses that Waller can earn, and we arrive at the $10MM increase that Pelissero references.

The new contract also comes with $250K Pro Bowl incentives in each year of the deal.

SEPTEMBER 10: The long-anticipated new deal between the Raiders and tight end Darren Waller has been finalized. Waller is signing a three-year extension which includes $51MM in new money, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). The team has since confirmed the deal. 

The Pro Bowler had two years remaining on his existing deal, but for months has been considered a prime extension candidate. He was set to earn $7MM in non-guaranteed money this season and next, and will likely now have considerable security. In all, he is tied to the Raiders for the next five years at a total cost of $66.25MM.

That $13.25MM-per-year overall average will move Waller into sixth in the league in terms of overall compensation at the position. The tight end market was altered this offseason by David Njoku‘s deal with the Browns, one which Waller was expected to eclipse in value. His age (30 next week) and injury history, on the other hand, represented a potential disincentive on the Raiders’ part to make a commitment such as this.

The possibility of Las Vegas – now led by general manager Dave Zieglerwaiting one more year to finalize an extension seemed quite real earlier this summer. That would have come as a notable decision, given the team’s substantial investments made earlier this offseason in Derek Carr, Davante Adams and Hunter RenfrowThings began to change once Waller took steps to accelerate the negotiating process.

The former sixth-rounder changed agents recently, taking on Drew Rosenhaus as his new representative. Not long after that move, it was reported that an extension could be just days away. Now, on the eve of the season, both sides have indeed finished this important business.

“This was one of the most challenging negotiations I’ve encountered,” Rosenhaus said. “It is very rare for a 30-year old player with two years left on his contract to get a new deal” (Twitter link via Schefter).

With his long-term future no longer in doubt, Waller will look to return to his 1,000-yard form after being limited to 11 contests in 2021. He will face significant competition for targets after the arrival of Adams, but he has shown himself capable of being the focal point of the Raiders’ passing attack. The former Raven has gone from a failed receiving prospect met with multiple suspensions — one for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, one for violating the PED policy — to one of the league’s highest-paid tight ends.

Raiders, TE Darren Waller Progressing On Extension?

Darren Waller‘s contract issue has moved closer to the forefront recently. The Pro Bowl Raiders tight end changed agencies and returned to practice, ending multiweek stretch of inactivity. A contract resolution could follow.

The Raiders and Waller are believed to be moving closer to an extension agreement, one the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Vincent Bonsignore notes could be finalized this week (Twitter link). Waller is tied to a 2022 base salary of $6.25MM; that amount becomes guaranteed shortly before the Raiders’ Week 1 game against the Chargers. Two seasons remain on his contract.

Now with Drew Rosenhaus, Waller switching agents appeared to signal he was not fine with tabling contract talks to 2023 — the final year of his current Raiders deal. The Raiders potentially waiting a year to address Waller’s below-market deal emerged as viable scenario earlier this summer. Considering where Waller’s contract has fallen among tight ends since he signed it in 2019, it is unsurprising the matter became a bigger issue ahead of Week 1.

Whether it goes one way or it doesn’t, I’ll be playing football,” Waller said, via Bonsignore, of extension talks. “There’s not really a lot of things I can control. I have faith in my representation.”

Waller, 30 next week, made sure to credit his previous agency — Klutch Sports — but said it was “time to go in a different direction.” After the team rewarded every other key principal in its passing attack this offseason, via extensions for Davante AdamsDerek Carr and Hunter Renfrow, it remains interesting Waller resides in this position.

A $16MM-per-year price is believed to have come up during Waller’s negotiations this year. That should not surprise, given Waller’s contributions to the Raiders and Renfrow having agreed to a $16MM-AAV extension earlier this year. The free agency deals less productive tight ends Will Dissly, C.J. Uzomah and Logan Thomas signed earlier this year bumped Waller’s $7.6MM-per-year accord down to 17th among tight end AAV.

Waller joins Travis Kelce and George Kittle as the only active tight ends with two 1,000-yard seasons on their resumes. This year’s receiver-market boom has left tight ends as a whole undervalued, but Kelce and Kittle (tied to a market-topping $15MM average salary) have already cashed in. Waller, who is going into his fourth Raiders season, has not. At least, not on the level his top contemporaries have.

As for Waller’s status for the Raiders’ Week 1 game against the Chargers, he confirmed he will be available. Waller missed much of training camp with a hamstring injury — a malady some connected to a potential hold-in effort — but he said the early-camp injury issue was legitimate. Waller missed six games last season, mostly due to an ankle injury.

AFC West Rumors: James, Waller, Hobbs, Waitman

Back in June of 2021, Ravens offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James filed a grievance against the Broncos seeking $15MM consisting of his 2021 and 2022 salaries of $10MM and $5MM, respectively. James has reportedly settled with his former team and will receive $1.09MM, according to Charean Williams of NBC Sports.

The grievance stems from a torn Achilles that James suffered while working out away from the Broncos’ facility during the 2021 offseason. He missed out on a $9.85MM guaranteed salary that Denver claimed was only guaranteed for injuries sustained at the team facility.

James has not played since the injury and is currently listed as the backup to Baltimore’s starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Ravens fans are hoping not to have to see James come in, but, historically, Stanley has only played in two games since signing a contract extension in October of 2020.

Here are a few more rumors from the AFC West, starting with two rumors out of Sin City:

  • Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels told reporters that star tight end Darren Waller returned to practice today, according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. Waller had missed six practices since mid-August due to a hamstring injury. Adding Waller back to the mix gives Las Vegas a dangerous array of pass catchers with Waller and receivers Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow.
  • After the trade yesterday that sent former second-round pick Trayvon Mullen to Arizona and with Darius Phillips not making the initial 53-man roster, Raiders nickel cornerback Nate Hobbs is finally set to move to an outside cornerback gig, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic. The team’s coaches have long been boasting of their plans to move Hobbs around on defense, and they now have a prime opportunity to see what he can do on the outside of the secondary.
  • The Broncos surprised quite a few when punter Sam Martin failed to make their initial 53-man roster. Instead, Denver will move forward with former-Steelers punter Corliss Waitman. General manager George Paton attempted to defend the cut by telling reporters that the move was not a reflection of contracts but one of abilities, according to Troy Renck of Denver 7. Martin has been a starting punter since being drafted in the league back in 2013 by the Lions. He had signed a three-year, $7.05MM contract to join the Broncos and was headed into the final year of the deal set to make $2.25MM. Martin reportedly refused to take a pay cut for the 2022 season and Denver now will rely on the leg of Waitman, who holds an $825K cap hit. According to Paton, though, the $1.4MM cap room cleared by cutting Martin had nothing to do with it. Also according to Paton, Waitman, who has two games of NFL play under his belt, simply beat out the veteran kicker with 139 games of NFL experience. Broncos fans will get to judge for themselves when they see Waitman’s regular season debut in a Broncos uniform in Seattle on Monday Night Football.

Darren Waller Targeting Raiders Extension ‘Soon’

Although the prospect of the Raiders tabling an extension to 2023 surfaced during the offseason, Darren Waller is now with Drew Rosenhaus. The powerful agent said the plan is to hammer out a deal as soon as possible, via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).

After leaving Klutch Sports recently, Waller signed with Rosenhaus on Wednesday. This notable representation switch could push this matter to a front-burner item for the Raiders, who have already done a few big-ticket extensions this offseason. Waller’s current contract has been out of step with his value for a while; the Pro Bowl tight end appears to be taking action.

A $16MM-per-year contract has been floated during Waller’s talks with the Raiders, though extension conversations are not believed to have progressed too far. Two years remain on Waller’s current contract, one that has — in terms of AAV — dropped to 17th among tight ends. The veteran pass catcher is tied to $6.25MM base salaries in 2022 and 2023.

Despite changing regimes this offseason, the Raiders paid Derek Carr, Hunter Renfrow and Maxx Crosby. Renfrow is now tied to a $16MM-per-year deal — more than double Waller’s $7.6MM-AAV accord. Waller signed his deal back in 2019, when he was in the process of crafting a belated breakout after substance-abuse issues nearly derailed his career. But the tight end market has changed considerably since then, with George Kittle and Travis Kelce pushing it past $14MM on average. Kittle’s $15MM-per-year deal tops the market.

It is understandable why Waller would not want to wait until 2023 for a new deal to come to pass. After trading away Amari Cooper and seeing their Antonio Brown deal combust before the mercurial superstar played a game in Oakland, the Raiders relied on Waller for years. The Jon Gruden-era reclamation project rewarded the team by producing back-to-back 1,100-yard receiving seasons — a feat few tight ends in NFL history have accomplished. Far less acclaimed tight ends have passed him on the market, with David Njoku‘s $13.7MM-AAV Browns deal being the most glaring example.

Waller will also turn 30 in September and is coming off a season in which an ankle injury forced him to miss extensive time down the stretch. With Waller dealing with a hamstring malady now, the Raiders could also exercise caution and force him to prove his value in a new offense. It will be interesting to see how the parties proceed here, as this now appears to be an issue that will not wait until 2023.

Raiders, TE Darren Waller Discussing Record-Setting Extension?

Not much has come out regarding Darren Waller‘s extension talks with the Raiders. From the team hoping to table contract talks to 2023 to the new regime still viewing Waller as an essential piece, the situation stood in a holding pattern throughout the offseason. But Waller’s agency change may make this a front-burner matter soon.

With Waller expected to add Drew Rosenhaus as his agent this week, the matter of his below-market contract will come up. The Pro Bowl pass catcher has already discussed a lucrative deal with the Raiders, however, with CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson noting (via Twitter) a contract that would make Waller the league’s highest-paid tight end has come up.

The deal would be in the $16MM-per-year range, per Anderson, though specifics remain light. And Waller’s agency change does not seem to indicate anything was close. George Kittle‘s $15MM-per-year contract continues to top the market, though the wide receiver market’s boom now makes tight ends collectively –particularly those on the Kittle-Waller-Travis KelceMark Andrews tier — look underpaid.

Las Vegas has changed regimes, but the Dave ZieglerJosh McDaniels pairing has taken care of Derek Carr and Hunter Renfrow this offseason. The team also traded for Davante Adams and extended him at $28MM per year. Renfrow is also tied to a deal worth more than double Waller’s $7.6MM-per-year figure. It is unsurprising the accomplished tight end may be trying to force the issue, given his age (30 in September), importance to recent Raider teams and the contracts the new team brass has handed out.

Waller’s contract ranks 17th among tight ends for AAV, with the likes of Will Dissly and C.J. Uzomah moving past him this offseason. Waller is one of a handful of tight ends in NFL history to post two 1,100-yard seasons. However, he is coming off a year in which an ankle injury sidelined him for much of the Raiders’ stretch run.

For now, Waller is attempting to move past a hamstring injury that has forced him to miss time during training camp. All parties have pointed to that as a minor ailment, per The Athletic’s Vic Tafur. This three-week absence emerging as the contract matter unfolds may or may not be a coincidence. For now, Waller is tied to a $6.25MM base salary that becomes guaranteed in Week 1.

Raiders TE Darren Waller Leaves Klutch Sports

Per Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Raiders tight end Darren Waller has left Klutch Sports, the agency founded by NBA superstar LeBron James and his close friend, Rich Paul. Waller signed with Klutch less than a year ago.

Waller’s decision is particularly notable because of his contract status. The soon-to-be 30-year-old is slated to earn non-guaranteed base salaries of $6.25MM in 2022 and ’23, and given his elite performance and his importance to the Raiders’ offense, he was naturally mentioned as a candidate for a new contract earlier this year.

Subsequent reports suggested that an extension for Waller is a “priority” for Las Vegas, and we heard in June that a deal was “imminent” (though that June report also indicated that the team may be trying to delay the matter to 2023, and as clubs generally do not like to negotiate contracts with players who have multiple years of club control remaining, that could well be the case).

Waller did report to training camp on time, but he has been dealing with a hamstring injury and has practiced just once since July 30. The fact that the ailment is considered a minor one has led to speculation that Waller’s absence is more a function of his contract situation than his health, though there is nothing to substantiate those rumors at this point.

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that Waller has decided to change representation at a time when he is looking to sign the most lucrative contract of his career. The extension he signed in October 2019 was something of a gamble on the Raiders’ part, as the former sixth-round pick of the Ravens was suspended multiple times during his stint in Baltimore for violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy, including a year-long ban in 2017. The Raiders plucked him off the Ravens’ taxi squad in November 2018, and they handed him his current deal, a ~$7.5MM/year accord, after a few encouraging performances to open the 2019 season.

Over the 2019-20 campaigns, Waller rewarded the team’s faith in him by averaging just under 100 catches for 1,170 yards. Although the 2021 season saw him miss time due to a knee injury, the Georgia Tech product ranks second among tight ends in catches and yards over the past three years, behind only Chiefs star Travis Kelce.

The remaining club control, along with last year’s knee injury and the current hamstring issue, could prevent a deal from getting done this summer. But assuming there are no long-term health concerns, Waller will undoubtedly be shooting for the top of the tight end market, which is currently paced by George Kittle‘s $15MM AAV and $40MM in practical guarantees. He must wait until Wednesday to hire a new agent, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk hears that the plan is to retain super agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Such a hire would seem to indicate that Waller has no intention of waiting until 2023 to see his name at or near the top of the TE pay scale.

Raiders TE Darren Waller Dealing With Hamstring Injury

Much has been made this offseason about the most significant addition to the Raiders’ pass-catching corps, and the effect he will have on the team’s WR room. Much of the offense’s success will still depend on the play of tight end Darren Waller, though, which makes his health status one of great importance. 

The Pro Bowler has been “held out of” Vegas’ training camp due to a hamstring injury, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). He adds that the issue is not considered serious, something which is encouraging, but nevertheless a potential source of concern in the build-up to the season.

Waller missed five games last year due to an IT band strain, the first time since 2018 that he spent any period on the sidelines. The injury limited him to 665 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he was on pace for another highly productive season as the focal point of the Raiders’ passing attack. The month-plus absence was longer than originally expected, so the fact that Waller is again off the field for an extended period could prove problematic if the injury lingers into the regular season.

The 29-year-old was understandably listed as an extension candidate this offseason, given the disparity between his contract and level of play during his time with the Raiders. Set to earn $6.25MM in each of the next two seasons, Waller would be in line for a significant raise on a new deal – something which was reported as being imminent back in June.

The team, under new GM Dave Ziegler, acquired Davante Adams at a massive cost (both in terms of draft capital and the subsequent extension he signed). The Raiders also inked fellow receiver Hunter Renfrow to a new deal, ensuring QB Derek Carr will have the most talented array of skill-position players in his career. To help the team meet its heightened expectations (and improve his own financial future), though, Waller will need to return to full health in advance of the campaign – something which may still be in doubt at this point.

Raiders’ Darren Waller Reports To Training Camp

With training camps opening up, attention is naturally being drawn to players with potential motivation to stage a ‘hold-out,’ or more recently, a ‘hold-in.’ One such player is Raiders tight end Darren Waller, whose contract status has generated plenty of speculation this offseason. 

The 29-year-old has emerged as one of the league’s top players at his position, making him a logical candidate for an extension more in line with his recent production. The team wouldn’t necessarily be obligated to re-work his deal right away, though, as Waller has two years remaining on his current contract, with scheduled salaries of $6.25MM remaining.

That figure pales in comparison to the compensation many other, less accomplished TEs will be receiving in 2022. The position has seen a notable upward trend this offseason, especially as a result of the $54.75MM deal given to David Njoku of the Browns. That, coupled with the fact that there is no guaranteed money remaining on Waller’s deal, has led to some speculation that he could try to force the Raiders’ hand in contract talks in the build-up to camp.

Instead, the former sixth-rounder has indeed reported to camp, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (Twitter link). Part of the reason he was expected to do so, no doubt, is the extent to which contract talks have been ongoing for more than a month. A new deal was reported to be imminent in June, although Vegas’ preference could very well be to wait one more year to finalize an extension. To that point, Fowler adds that Waller and the team appear to be “all-in” on the 2022 campaign, one filled with high expectations on all fronts.

The Raiders currently rank third in the league in cap space, so a deal pushing some money upfront on a multi-year extension would be feasible for the team. How much progress is made in the coming weeks will likely dictate Waller’s short-term (and, potentially, long-term) financial future.

Latest On Raiders, Darren Waller

Recent developments have magnified the bargain the Raiders have in Darren Waller, who is attached to a contract he has outplayed. Tied to the 17th-highest average salary among tight ends, Waller is set to make $6.25MM in 2022.

David Njoku, whose production Waller has lapped despite having less time as a starting tight end, now has a $14.2MM-per-year contract. The Raiders gave Hunter Renfrow a $16MM-per-year extension Friday. Waller, 29, has not indicated he plans to make his $7.6MM-AAV deal an issue this year, having reported to minicamp this week. Given the circumstances, it would not surprise if the two-time 1,100-yard pass catcher did attempt to inject urgency into this situation before Week 1.

[RELATED: Assessing Waller’s Extension Path]

The Raiders view Waller as a key player, and Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal calls a second Waller-Raiders extension imminent. Waller said conversations have occurred this offseason, but Bonsignore adds the team still might be attempting to push true extension talks to 2023. Two seasons remain on the extension Waller signed in 2019. The tight end market is different now, with several players whose work does not compare to Waller’s ahead of him on the salary hierarchy. No guarantees remain on Waller’s deal.

On one hand, waiting until 2023 could benefit Waller. He is coming off an injury-limited season and is set to play for Josh McDaniels, whose play calls helped turn Rob Gronkowski into a future first-ballot Hall of Famer. The Raiders’ Waller-Renfrow-Davante Adams setup should open the door for more looks for the two holdovers. Of course, the other side of this is Waller risks suffering another injury that could diminish his value. The late-bloomer’s age (30 in September) also stands to be an issue, with extension talks ahead of an age-31 season slightly different than prioritizing a deal now.

Will the longtime centerpiece of the Raiders’ passing attack be content going into camp with Adams tied to a deal worth nearly four times his own and now Renfrow attached to a contract worth more than double his? With the Raiders having rewarded their top two wideouts, how they proceed with their standout tight end will be one of this summer’s more interesting storylines.

Raiders, Denzel Perryman Discussing Deal

Multiple teams passed on deploying Denzel Perryman in 2021. The Chargers opted not to re-sign the veteran linebacker, and the Panthers traded him just months after adding him as a free agent. Perryman found his footing again with the Raiders.

Playing a career-high 863 defensive snaps, the former second-round pick turned in his most productive season in his first Las Vegas campaign. The Raiders are changing defensive schemes again, replacing longtime Perryman coordinator Gus Bradley with Patrick Graham. But they are interested in another Perryman contract, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter). The sides have discussed a new deal.

[RELATED: Raiders Extend WR Hunter Renfrow]

Tied to the two-year, $6.1MM contract he signed with the Panthers, the 29-year-old linebacker is set to make just $1.1MM in base salary this season. By virtue of their designating Carl Nassib and two-year linebacker starter Cory Littleton as post-June 1 cuts, the Raiders have come into some money. Their $22.5MM in available funds currently ranks third in the NFL.

Perryman made 154 tackles last season, topping his previous career-high total (set during his rookie season in 2015) by a cool 81. The Bolts re-signed Perryman in 2019, giving him a two-year deal worth $12MM. But he mostly worked in a part-time role during that contract. Injuries played a part in Perryman’s stock slipping as a Charger, but he played a career-high 15 games last season. Pro Football Focus did not view Perryman as one of last season’s better linebackers, but the veteran second-level defender earned a Pro Bowl bid as an alternate.

The Raiders added Jayon Brown, Kenny Young and Micah Kiser at inside linebacker this offseason, largely dismantling their 2021 setup outside of Perryman. The team cut Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski and did not re-sign K.J. Wright. Perryman played for Bradley for the past five seasons, with the veteran coordinator moving from Los Angeles to Vegas last year.

The Dave ZieglerJosh McDaniels regime has not been shy about extensions for holdover players, however. The new Vegas power brokers have authorized extensions for Renfrow, Maxx Crosby and Derek Carr this offseason. Darren Waller may be on the docket, too, with Fowler indicating the Pro Bowl tight end is a priority as well. Waller will certainly cost far more to extend than Perryman.