The Las Vegas Raiders made Darren Waller the highest-paid tight end in the NFL last September, signing him to a . Head coach Josh McDaniels said at the time he "couldn't be more thrilled" for Waller to be a part of the Raiders family for years to come, but six months later, Vegas to the New York Giants in exchange for a third-round pick.
Why did the Raiders part ways with Waller directly after rewarding him with a huge contract? Pro Football Network recently shed some light on the situation, saying the Raiders became, "wary of Waller missing significant time over the last two seasons."
Waller has missed 14 total games over the past two seasons due to several injuries. An IT band strain affected his 2021 campaign, and then a hamstring injury forced him to miss eight contests in 2022.
When healthy, Waller has been one of the best tight ends in the game -- as he ranks third among all tight ends in receiving yards per game since 2019 (65.3). Last year, despite missing about half the season, Waller still recorded the most catches 20-plus yards downfield among tight ends with seven. He led the Raiders in receiving in both 2019 and 2020, and is a versatile target who can line up out wide and make teams pay in the red zone.
Waller is beginning a new chapter of his career in New York, and hethat he learned plenty about himself while going through the adversity of having to miss games due to injury.
"I feel like I've learned a lot about myself this year" Waller said. "Just learning that adversity is always something that's going to be consistent throughout the human experience, no matter who you are. You can't control when it's going to happen, you can't control and try to figure out all the time why it's happening, but you can always take lessons from it, you can always find growth in it. And for me, it's about trying to find ways to still stay involved, still be of service to this team, still find ways to just let the team know and guys know that I'm still connected to this thing. And that's something that will always be a valuable lesson. It's not as important about what I can get out of certain things, but it's really the main lesson is what can I bring to any situation no matter what. If something isn't going my way, I can always bring something to the table."