Raiders’ Darren Waller agrees to three-year, $51 million deal, making him highest-paid tight end – CBS Sports

Raiders' Darren Waller agrees to three-year, $51 million deal, making him highest-paid tight end - CBS Sports

It was reported last month that Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller was in talks with the team to become the highest paid tight end in the NFL. On Saturday, that extension finally came to fruition, as Waller agreed to a new three-year, $51 million deal, via CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson.

“Darren Waller is an exemplary teammate in every way, and we are excited to see him continue to grow as a leader on this team,” said Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels, through their official website. “Darren brings tremendous commitment and work ethic to the building every day and we couldn’t be more thrilled that he will be a part of the Raiders Family for years to come.”

Waller’s new AAV of $17 million actually makes him the highest paid tight end in the league when he passes. San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle, whose deal carries an AAV of $15 million. According to Waller’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, this extension was apparently difficult to nail down

“This was one of the most difficult negotiations I have faced,” said Rosenhaus, via ESPN.

According to NFL Media, Waller’s new deal has a base value of $25 million over the next two years, and he received $19.25 million fully guaranteed at signing. It also includes $2.55 million in active roster bonuses. The rest of the deal is reportedly non-guaranteed, offering $12 million in 2024, $13 million in 2025 and $15 million in 2026. He also has a $250K Pro Bowl incentive each year.

While this is a huge change, Waller definitely deserves this contract. The Pro Bowl tight end recorded more than 1,000 receiving yards in 2019 and 2020, and while he played in just 11 games last year due to injury, he still caught 55 passes for 665 yards and two touchdowns. Waller finished the 2021 campaign No. 11 in receiving yards among all tight ends, and fifth in receiving yards per game with 60.5. In last year’s season opener against his former team in the Baltimore Ravens, Waller caught 10 of 19 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown in an overtime win. That performance led former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden to dub Waller the best player he ever coached.

The 29-year-old was originally selected by the Ravens in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Georgia Tech. His professional career took off due to problems in his personal life, as Waller struggled with substance abuse problems. But Waller overcame his addiction, and became one of the best tight ends in the NFL.

The Raiders have a new head coach in McDaniels, but Waller still figures to be a focal point of this offense, and Las Vegas has proven its dedication to him with this lucrative extension.

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