Starter: Darren Waller
Backups: Luke Willson, Foster Moreau, Derek Carrier, Eric Swoope, Paul Butler
Letting Jared Cook walk as a free agent wasn’t the best idea. Not drafting a tight end with one of their first four picks to replace him made a bad idea worse. Releasing Lee Smith a few months after paying him his 2019 roster bonus early, turned a worse idea into wtf.
Cook was a Pro Bowler last season and Derek Carr’s top receiver. They didn’t want to pay him so instead they’re rolling the dice on Darren Waller who was on the Ravens’ practice squad six months ago.
Waller showed some talent late last season, but it’s still a roll of the dice to make him the number one tight end on the team just like that. Gruden thought that might be Derek Carrier, but it didn’t work out so well.as he caught just 7 passes for 67 yards all season.
They’re hoping the duo of free agent Luke Willson and 4th round pick Foster Moreau can replace Lee Smith and allow them to hedge their bets with Waller. That plan doesn’t inspire much confidence.
When you have a relative unknown like Darren Waller, there’s always the chance he could pan out. But that’s a big leap of faith. As is hoping Foster Moreau can be more than a blocking tight end. And even then, he’s no Lee Smith. Luke Willson won’t contribute much. He has averaged about 200 yards per season in six seasons. We know what he brings to the table.
What condition do you think the tight end position is in for the Raiders heading into camp?
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