Wednesday night seemed to put the end to any speculation the Las Vegas Raiders might make a blockbuster trade this weekend by sending star tight end Darren Waller packing.
Waller told CBS Sports Radio that the Raiders have told him he will not be traded.
Darren Waller told me the Raiders told him he isn’t getting traded. @CBSSportsRadio— Zach Gelb (@ZachGelb) April 28, 2022
Of course, Monday, the Waller trade talk was ignited by a report out of Green Bay, saying the Packers were trying hard to acquire Waller.
With Waller being told a trade will not be happening, here are some thoughts as we apparently close the door:
- At this point, the Raiders better not pull off of a surprise trade of Waller. With multiple reports that the team is not trading him and with the player himself being told by the organization, it would be a horrible optic if they were lying to him. The locker room trusts the new regime. This would ruin that.
Raiders owner Mark Davis on Darren Waller rumors: “There’s nothing going on with Darren Waller, except he’s a Raider.” #vegas #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/NhyiNeQyVJ— Mick Akers (@mickakers) April 28, 2022
- This situation is a reminder that there is a big difference between trade rumors and trade conversations. At this point, all we know is that this was a rumor.
- Of course, the center of the Packers-Waller talk was the report that he was supposed to be part of the Davante Adams trade last month. The report was that the Packers would get No. 22 and Waller for Adams. However, because Adams had not signed his franchise tag, that player-for-player deal couldn’t happen. I heard that rumor too. I was skeptical for two reasons. One, Adams could have signed his tag and then gotten a new deal from the Raiders, and, two, the teams simply could have swapped Waller for No. 53 (which was part of the actual Adams trade) after the fact. So, there were holes in that premise. By the way, the Raiders’ actual Adams’ trade was much better than sending No. 22 and Waller for Adams.
- Not trading Waller is the best course of action for Las Vegas. The trade would have been shortsighted. The Raiders have both Adams and Waller. That is an embarrassment of offensive riches. They just extended quarterback Derek Carr. They need to go for it this season. Having Waller helps in 2022 better than any draft-pick compensation would,
Just my opinion but trading Waller for a pick in this draft weakens #Raiders for now at least— Bill Williamson (@BWilliamsonNFL) April 25, 2022
- Perhaps the Raiders will trade Waller next year. He has two years remaining on his contract and he is extremely underpaid. The Raiders just paid Adams, Carr, Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones. Standout slot man Hunter Renfrow can be a free agent next year. It’s difficult to pay everyone. So, the Waller issue may come to a head next year. But let’s worry about that then and see what this offense can do in 2022.
- Finally, kudos to Waller for the way he is handling this. He is at the voluntary offseason sessions and he is embracing being part of the team. He could be causing a stink, but he’s not. That’s helpful and the organization probably appreciates it and that could go a long way to finding ultimate mutual happiness.