A look at why Darren Waller may be available – Josh Clark – Pro Football Techs

The Green Bay Packers may be on the verge of bringing a star tight end to Lambeau Field.

The fact Darren Waller is potentially available raises a few interesting questions.

Packers beat reporter Aaron Nagler of Cheesehead TV wrote Monday the team is aiming to get a deal done by draft day, which is fast approaching.

The move makes sense for a Packers team eyeing cap-friendly ways to boost Aaron Rodgers’ weapons.  

The club is in win-now mode.

Why would the Raiders be willing to cut bait on a Pro Bowler with a less than $7 million cap hit?

That’s less obvious. 

For one thing, the Raiders have just one draft pick in the first three rounds — a third rounder.

The New York Jets, by comparison, have five selections prior to the Raiders pick at 86.

Waller’s 2021 campaign was his worst since 2018 – part of which can be explained by the fact he missed six games.

He still put up impressive yardage numbers when healthy last year.  His yards per game average (60) was fifth in the NFL.

But other per-game averages nose-dived in his age 29 season.

Waller had just two scores in his 11 games.

And he averaged just 4.4 yards after the catch-per reception – 19th among all tight ends and behind vets at the tail end of their careers such as Jared Cook, advanced statistics show.

The league’s top five tight ends average 7 yards, by comparison, according to Pro Football Reference.

Waller, who turns 30 this fall, has two years remaining on his contract. But he is reportedly seeking a new deal, following an offseason that saw David Njoku, Mike Gesicki and a few other tight ends leapfrog him with $10 million per-season deals.

For the Raiders to resign Waller, it would likely mean a $14 million+  per-season commitment.

Perhaps that’s a bit more than Las Vegas is willing to wager. 

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Keywords: Raiders, nfl, Packers, draft, trades, dolphins, browns, stats