Lodi News-Sentinel

Raiders trade Waller to Giants for pick

- Case Keefer LAS VEGAS SUN

The Raiders’ single-season leader in receptions is being traded away from the team.

Las Vegas has agreed to trade tight end Darren Waller, who caught 107 passes in the team’s inaugural season locally in 2020, to the New York Giants in exchange for a third-round pick according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Waller signed a three-year, $51 million extension a day before the season began last year but it didn’t go according to plan as he missed half of it with a hamstring injury. It was the second straight year that ailments sidelined Waller following big seasons in 2019 and 2020 where he caught 197 combined receptions for 2,341 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Moving on from Waller continues the Raiders’ offensive transforma­tion under second-year general manager Dave Ziegler and second-year coach Josh McDaniels. Las Vegas had already agreed to deals with free-agent quarterbac­k Jimmy Garoppolo and free-agent wide receiver Jakobi Meyers within the first 24 hours of the NFL’s legal tampering period.

Contracts can become official at 9 a.m. Wednesday when the league’s new year begins.

Waller’s exit could potentiall­y lead to the return of tight end Foster Moreau, who’s a free agent. The Raiders weren’t expected to keep Moreau with so much money tied up in Waller but now they have a hole at tight end with Jesper Horsted the only player at the position currently under contract.

Waller will be missed in the community just as much, if not more, than he will be on the field. An outspoken advocate for those dealing with addiction after overcoming his own struggles early in his NFL career, Waller started a foundation to help.

A Real Sports profile last year showed him traveling into local storm tunnels to help the homeless population. At the time of filming, HBO reported he had paid all expenses for 44 recovering addicts to go through treatment.

Waller also married Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum earlier this month, so he’ll presumably still be seen around the area — just not with the Raiders.

Raiders come to terms with ex-Patriots receiver Meyers

LAS VEGAS — One way to support a defense in need of a major rebuild is to field an offense that can score plenty of points.

That was part of the Raiders’ rationale for acquiring former Patriots wide re

ceiver Jakobi Meyers on Tuesday on a three-year deal worth $33 million, including $21 million guaranteed.

The thought process is that Meyers will team with Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs and Hunter Renfrow in an offense quarterbac­ked by Jimmy Garoppolo designed to get more out of that side of the ball to protect a defense that remains under constructi­on.

Meyers, 26, arrives to Las Vegas from New England, where he spent the first four seasons of his career, including multiple seasons with Josh McDaniels as his offensive coordinato­r, and accumulate­d 235 catches for 2,758 yards and eight touchdowns.

Meyers primarily played in the slot for the Patriots, and while that would appear to infringe on Renfrow, also a slot receiver, the Raiders envision them teaming up in a similar fashion that McDaniels utilized slot receivers Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman in New England.

Elevating the Raiders’ offense by increasing its efficiency is seen as a critical component to the offseason. It’s part of the thought process in bringing in players with experience in McDaniels’ offense, which Garoppolo, also a former Patriot who agreed to terms Monday, and Meyers bring.

The Raiders averaged the 12th-most points in the NFL last season but were ranked 26th in red zone efficiency. Improving the latter would go a long way to push the offense into the top 10 and take pressure off the defense.

 ?? ERIK VERDUZCO/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL ?? Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) makes a touchdown catch ahead of 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga (29) in Las Vegas on Jan. 1.
ERIK VERDUZCO/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) makes a touchdown catch ahead of 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga (29) in Las Vegas on Jan. 1.

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