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Darren Waller, Raiders Agree to 3-Year, $51M Contract Extension Ahead of 2022 Season

Adam WellsSeptember 10, 2022

AP Photo/John McCoy

After some trade speculation earlier this offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders have rewarded Darren Waller with a three-year, $51 million contract extension, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

"This was one of the most challenging negotiations I’ve encountered," Rosenhaus noted.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweeted details for the deal:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

It’s a roughly $10M raise over two years for Waller, whose old deal had two years left. In exchange, the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Raiders?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Raiders</a> lock up his prime on what amounts to a series of team options through 2026. <br><br>He can also earn a $250,000 Pro Bowl incentive each year.

With the extension, Waller is now owed $66.25 million over the next five seasons, per Schefter.

The Raiders stunned everyone in March when they acquired Davante Adams in a trade with the Green Bay Packers. They also signed the five-time Pro Bowler to a five-year, $141.25 million contract, the largest deal for a wide receiver in NFL history.

The trade reunited Adams with quarterback Derek Carr. They played together for two seasons at Fresno State from 2012 to 2013.

Putting Adams on the same field as Waller and Hunter Renfrow seemed like a nightmare scenario for opposing defenses. Renfrow set career highs with 103 receptions, 1,038 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 2021.

The Raiders also gave Renfrow an extension earlier in the offseason. The 26-year-old signed a two-year, $32 million deal on June 11 that keeps him under contract through the 2024 season.

Waller had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020. He missed six games last season but still finished with 55 receptions and 665 yards in 11 starts.

In April, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported the Packers wanted a first-round pick and "an undisclosed player" from the Raiders in exchange for Adams.

Aaron Nagler of Cheesehead TV later reported the Packers were interested in acquiring Waller, who was "apparently" the player they originally wanted back from Las Vegas in the Adams trade.

After Nagler's report came out, Carr laughed off the possibility of Waller getting traded:

Derek Carr @derekcarrqb

Lol no chance. <a href="https://t.co/vINVlgdSMj">https://t.co/vINVlgdSMj</a>

There wasn't a sense of urgency for the Raiders to get a new deal done with Waller. His previous contract ran through the 2023 season with salaries of $6.25 million each year. The 29-year-old has been one of the most productive pass-catching tight ends in the NFL since 2019.

The Raiders are clearly trying to build a team that can compete with the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos in a loaded AFC West. Waller's presence makes the task a little bit easier.

An offensive nucleus of Carr, Adams, Waller and Hunter Renfrow has the potential to be special. That group figures to be together for years to come as the Raiders pursue their first division title since 2002.

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