As veterans reported to Raiders training camp last week, a report emerged that tight end Darren Waller was one of the players seeking a new contract with Las Vegas.
That made sense, as Waller is clearly underpaid compared to the other top players at his position.
But Waller is not staging a hold-in, participating in the early training camp sessions as the Raiders get ready for the 2022 season under new head coach Josh McDaniels.
Waller has said in the past that he’s letting his agent handle all contract issues and reiterated that sentiment over the weekend.
“I’m focused on playing right now,” Waller said, via Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “My agent handles that. Whatever is going on there is whatever is going on there. But whatever the outcome is of that, I’m here and I’m playing.”
Waller noted that it’s not always easy to separate the desire for a better contract from his mindset as a player.
“As a human being, you want to think about things like that,” Waller said. “But for me, I feel like adopting the mindset of when I’m here, what can I give to the team? As opposed to what I can get. … Because yeah, we’re humans and we can get distracted. But I feel like taking that approach has definitely helped me to focus in on what I can do within the day here. It keeps it simple and keeps it fun.”
Waller is set to make $6.25 million in base salary in each of the next two seasons, plus up to $500,000 in per-game bonuses. He also has a $250,000 workout bonus for a total annual compensation package of $7 million.
The Raiders have reached extensions with core players like quarterback Derek Carr, defensive end Maxx Crosby, and receiver Hunter Renfrow during the offseason — plus a new contract for receiver Davante Adams when he was acquired in March. It stands to reason that Waller could be next.