The Giants and Raiders worked out a trade today for tight end Darren Waller. Waller’s contract extension was one of the aggressive moves made by the Raiders new regime last season which quickly fizzled out as Waller struggled with injuries. The Raiders made Waller the highest paid tight end in the NFL at $17 million per year and one year later turned around and traded him for a late 3rd round pick.
The one thing the Raiders did well with all of the extensions was structuring them with a “glass half empty” approach and leaving them an out via trade. Waller did not receive a signing bonus and only had some prorated money in his contract due to the timing of the extension and use of per game bonuses. He will count for around $660K in dead money, a savings of $11.38 million in cap space.
The Giants will take on a salary cap hit this year of $11.875 million and that can grow to $12.475 million depending on how many games he plays. His salary is guaranteed this year but there are no future guarantees to consider. Waller’s cap charges in 2024 and 2025 will be $13 and $15 million with no dead money, unless they restructure the contract, if they were to move on after one year. Waller is a high upside low floor player. The last two years he has missed 14 games but in the two years prior to that he had over 1,100 receiving yards. If the Giants get the high end player this will be a steal of a trade. If he continues to be injured, it will be a one year gamble that cost them a mid round pick and about $12 million in cap room.