What is Darren Waller’s true market value?
Darren Waller, tight end for the Las Vegas Raiders, is playing under the NFL’s third-most team-friendly deal. According Focus on professional footballhe’s both underpaid and deserves a raise, but how much is he worth?
Darren Waller and the summit 5 tight contracts
There is only an NFL tight end that brings in $15 million a year and three earn more than $14 million. George Kittle currently sits at the top of the pay-per-position structure. Travis Kelce, Dallas Goedert and Mark Andrews. However, the recent extension signed by David Njoku (four years / $54.75 million) for an average of $13.68 million, making him the fifth highest paid tight end in the league, blew up the market. from the tight end.
Darren Waller Stats and Resume
Waller still has two years and $14 million left on his contract. Waller and Kelce are the only two tight ends having eclipsed the 3,000 yard mark since 2019. In 2020, being targeted 145 times tied Waller with Kelce for the sixth most targets in the NFL. His 107 receptions were both a team record and the fourth-most receptions in the league and earned him a Pro Bowl selection and second-team All-Pro honors. Prior to 2021, Waller’s yards were steadily increasing (1,145 to 1,196) and touchdowns soared from 3 to 9, producing back-to-back elite seasons and establishing himself as one of the best in the league.
Waller’s knee injury was the biggest factor limiting his production in 2021. Another was the drop in catch percentage. Last season, when he was available, Waller caught just 59.1 percent of his passes for 7.2 yards per target. Both represent career lows since joining the Raiders. Looking back, in 2020 it was 73.8% and 8.2 ypt., in 2019 it was 76.8% and 9.8 ypt., and in 2018 it was an impressive 100% and 12.5 ypt. (on 6 targets and catches). It was pretty obvious from the start that the teams were concentrating on making sure he didn’t get the ball.
By comparison, that of Njoku the numbers pale in comparison, and yet he earns twice as much as Waller. It’s not true. Klutch Sports, the agency representing Waller, is asking for a new contract.
At his best, in a dynastic attack, Waller could be the best passer tight end in football. If healthy for the entire season, Waller is no less than the fifth-best tight end in the league. Consider his age; he turns 30 this year during the season. His hands were more suspect in 2021 than ever before. Despite the supreme physical advantage he has over his competitors, he does not punish small defenders. How will her body react to her healing from injury? He takes good care of his body since he established a clean routine. After all, 30 is the new 25 in today’s NFL. I mean, shoot, Tom Brady is 60 (44 actually) and still playing for Tampa Bay.
That leaves the question of how much to pay Waller. Technically, the Raiders owe him nothing. He is under contract for two more seasons and has already hinted that he will not last. General manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels have shown they’re ready to reward a player they believe will be the cornerstone of this franchise.
It should be in the $14 million range. This is where the market is. Klutch Sports should be able to negotiate a contract worth $14-15 million a year with incentives with the Raiders. On the open market, it could go for $18-20 million. The duration of the agreement is where the contract situation hangs. Does he have a two-year contract? Maybe a three-year contract with one out. This is probably the best situation for both parties; he gets his money and security and leaves the team capable of getting out of a bad deal if things go wrong. Or a four-year mega-deal with two years guaranteed and a third- and fourth-year bonus option, making it a two-year deal with an annual discount thereafter.
*Top photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images