HENDERSON, Nev. — Hunter Renfrow is coming off a 103-catch season for the Las Vegas Raiders. Darren Waller caught a franchise-file 107 passes two years in the past. And Davante Adams, acquired in a blockbuster commerce with the Green Bay Packers in March, has a minimum of 111 receptions in three of the previous 4 years.
An excellent downside for Raiders quarterback Derek Carr to have this season? Perhaps. But are there sufficient balls to go round to maintain everybody completely satisfied?
Renfrow nodded, earlier than talking of Waller and Adams.
“Two very, very unselfish guys that … put the team before themselves,” Renfrow stated. “That’s got to be a focus for all of us — that team success is far superior to individual success.
“It would not matter if we’ve got 50 catches this season apiece, so long as we’re successful. That’s the final word objective. That’s all that issues. And I feel if we’ve got that mentality, then it is fairly simple to go and do.”
Easy for Renfrow to say, proper? After all, he joined Carr and defensive end Maxx Crosby in signing multi-12 months contract extensions this offseason, whereas Adams inked a large take care of Las Vegas (to be truthful, Renfrow did make that assertion earlier than being prolonged).
Conspicuous by his absence from the record, although, is Waller, a prime-3 tight end within the league who’s paid far under market worth and, sure, can also be hoping for an extension. It’s simply … he is not about to make a scene but, or a stink about it.
“I just focus on enjoying while I’m here, whether I’m here 10 years or who knows how long,” Waller stated. “My agent’s job is to do that stuff and I just focus on the football part. Because if you don’t focus on football and your mind’s elsewhere …”
Waller wandered a bit.
“You’ve got to be locked in as a professional,” he continued. “So I try to be a professional every day.”
And therein lies the rub.
Because Waller, who turns 30 two days after the Raiders open the season on the Los Angeles Chargers, may doubtlessly see his manufacturing dip with the ascent of Renfrow within the slot and the addition of Adams on the skin. And if it does, that may have a damaging impact on negotiations, ought to an extension not be accomplished earlier than the season.
Especially on the heels of knee and again accidents that restricted Waller to 11 video games, 55 catches and two TDs final season (he had a mixed 197 catches, on 262 targets, for 2,341 yards and 12 TDs in 2019 and 2020, when he was named to the Pro Bowl).
Catch-22, a lot?
Consider: Waller’s 4-12 months, $29.8 million extension in 2019 makes him simply the 17th-highest paid tight end within the NFL by way of AAV. And no cash is assured for 2022 or 2023.
More salt? The Cleveland Browns lately gave unproven David Njoku a 4-12 months deal value as much as $56.75 million, and the San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle, who has a tight end-high AAV of $15 million, has exceeded 85 receptions as soon as in 5 seasons.
Maybe that is why, when requested about Adams becoming a member of him, Renfrow and Carr in coach Josh McDaniels’ offense, Waller was pragmatic.
He referenced the Miami Heat’s “Big Three,” when LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in 2010.
“The first year, it may not have clicked like the way they wanted it to because it takes chemistry,” Waller stated, referencing the Heat falling to the Dallas Mavericks within the 2011 NBA Finals. “It works great on ‘Madden’ and ‘2K,’ but guys got to accept roles and, ‘OK, this is the situation I do best in,’ and then just bring a certain level of unselfishness to the table. And know that everything we do is about the time.”
Side be aware: Waller has been represented since final September by James’ company, Klutch Sports Group.
“As guys, we’ve accomplished individual things on our own,” Waller stated, “and now it’s, you know, maybe sacrifice that a little bit to help the collective achieve what they want to achieve.”
All of which sounds good to McDaniels.
“Darren, he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do, and more,” McDaniels stated. “He’s obviously a good player. We love having him here. It’s really a pleasure to coach the guy. He comes with a great attitude and mindset every day. Works really hard. Here early, stays late, does extra, takes care of his body. Does a lot of the things that you would want any player to do, and obviously he’s been productive with his opportunity. So, love having him here and looking forward to coaching him.”
Plus, he is had Waller watching tape of former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski to indicate Waller what needs to be in retailer for him in McDaniels’ scheme.
As Waller, who endured commerce rumors this spring, put it, the tape needs to be referred to as Gronk Running Wild.
“Up the seams, over routes, short passes and blowing through people, fade passes on the outside,” Waller stated. “He’s lining up everywhere and doing everything, really.
“It’s thrilling to see quite a lot of methods I’ll be used. It’s a difficult system, however I really like problem. I feel it is bringing the most effective out of us.”
But will it pressure the Raiders to deliver out the examine ebook, once more?