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Raiders’ tight end Darren Waller has already outperformed his contract

Waller is well overdue a pay rise, especially if he has a strong 2021 season

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders
Darren Waller
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As the Las Vegas Raiders make their salary cap plans for the next couple of years, they will need to account for extensions for a number of key players.

Needless to say, quarterback Derek Carr — who has two more years remaining on his deal —will likely warrant a new deal in the next year. But the Raiders’ money men better not overlook tight end Darren Waller.

The dude has already outplayed his contract. Waller — who the Raiders signed as a little-known practice squad player with the Baltimore Ravens in 2018 — signed a four-year, $29.8 million deal during the 2019 season.

It was a sweet deal from the Raiders for a talented player who overcame substance abuse and NFL suspensions to become a solid player in 2019. But he has out-performed the deal.

Waller has 197 catches in the past two seasons combined and he had a team record 107 receptions in 2020. Only Kansas City Chief’s Travis Kelce has more combined catches than Waller among tight ends in the past two seasons (Kelce has 202).

Yet, Waller was the 10th highest-paid tight end in the NFL last season and it’s being noticed around the NFL.

If Waller coaches 100-plus balls in 2021, expect his agent to run to the negotiation table.