NFL 2022: Raiders TE Darren Waller signs three-year, $51 million extension

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Darren Waller became the most recent tight end to get a new contract this summer, the team announced Saturday.

The Las Vegas Raiders reportedly signed Waller to a new three-year extension worth $51 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The deal now ties Waller to the Raiders for the next five years for $66.25 million total.

“This was one of the most challenging negotiations I’ve encountered," Waller's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told Schefter. “It is very rare for a 30-year-old player with two years left on his contract to get a new deal.”

Waller's three-year extension would make him the highest-paid tight end with a reported $17 million annual average value, which is $2 million more than San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle. He had no guaranteed money left on the final two years of the original four-year, $29 million contract he signed with the Raiders in 2019.

Other tight ends signed lucrative contracts this offseason as well. The Buffalo Bills gave Dawson Knox a four-year, $53.6 million deal with more than $31 million guaranteed on Wednesday, while the Cleveland Browns inked David Njoku to a four-year, $56.75 million deal this offseason.

Waller became a revelation for the Raiders after he signed with their practice squad in 2018 following injuries and multiple substance abuse suspensions. From 2019-2020, Waller caught 197 passes for 2,341 yards and 12 touchdowns and he made his first career Pro Bowl in 2021. Waller endured injuries in 2021, but still finished with 55 receptions for 665 yards and two touchdowns.

Darren Waller got paid. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Darren Waller got paid. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)