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Friday was a good day for Darren Waller’s wallet

Browns pay David Njoku, a far worse tight end than DWall

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Darren Waller
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Understandably, most of the current contract concentration among the Las Vegas Raiders revolves around slot receiver standout Hunter Renfrow.

The 2019 fifth-round pick is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he caught 103 passes and he is eligible for a new contract now. Renfrow is scheduled to be a free agent next year. While Renfrow is a priority, the contract situation of star tight end Darren Waller also looms in Las Vegas.

Waller has two years remaining on his contract and he’s badly underpaid. As an emerging player in 2019, Waller, whose career took off after he signed with the Raiders in 2018, signed a four-year $29.8 million deal. Waller has far outperformed his contract.

Waller’s contract became even more out of whack Friday when the Cleveland Browns gave tight end David Njoku, who they gave the franchise tag to, a four-year $56.75 million deal with $28 million guaranteed. He is now the fifth highest paid tight end in the NFL.

Waller has, by far, been a more productive player than Njoku. Since the start of 2019, Waller has 252 receptions for 3,006 yards and 14 touchdowns in 43 games. In the same period, Njoku has 60 catches for 729 yards and seven touchdowns in 33 games. The Njoku contract is already being panned.

Waller’s agents are surely paying attention. Two other tight ends, Miami’s Mike Gesicki and Dallas’ Dalton Schultz, have also been franchises and both could get new deals this offseason. So, Waller’s price tag is only going to rise.