The Raiders inked their star tight end Darren Waller to a contract extension just days before the 2022 season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Waller is one of the best tight ends in football, when healthy.
However, his health has been a major concern in recent seasons. Yet, the Raiders could not ignore Waller’s productivity.
A lifelong Raider, Waller topped 1,100 yards in both 2019 and 2020, making the Pro Bowl in the latter season. Last year, his production dropped off thanks to health concerns, as he played just 11 games.
But Vegas knows how important Waller is to their overall success, especially in a division loaded with offensive talent. In the same offseason, they’ve traded for Davante Adams, and signed Hunter Renfrow and Waller to contract extensions.
Raiders sign Darren Waller to contract extension
Waller’s contract details are generous, as he’ll make $51 million in new money over three years, per Adam Schefter.
The Raiders tight end had two years left on his deal, but per Ian Rapoport, “wanted an adjustment more in line with his play.” He was scheduled to make just over $6 million in 2022 and 2023.
Despite the frustrating contract talks, Waller was also dealing with a hamstring injury, which threatened to keep him out of Week 1. Yet, Waller has insisted he’ll play on Sunday.
“Sometimes you just can’t catch a break,” Waller said, per Pro Football Talk. “Football is rough. It demands a lot on your body. I wish I could have been out there in the time that I missed, but at the same time, yeah, is it time for me to make sure that things are in line as far as my body? Make sure mentally I’m in a place of peace and I can attack the season now.”
With his new money in tow, now Waller can fully focus on football and the season at hand.