HENDERSON, Nev. — Hunter Renfrow is coming off a 103-catch season for the Las Vegas Raiders. Darren Waller caught a franchise-record 107 passes two years in the past. And Davante Adams, acquired in a blockbuster commerce with the Inexperienced Bay Packers in March, has no less than 111 receptions in three of the previous 4 years.
downside for Raiders quarterback Derek Carr to have this season? Maybe. However are there sufficient balls to go round to maintain everybody comfortable?
Renfrow nodded, earlier than talking of Waller and Adams.
“Two very, very unselfish guys that … put the crew earlier than themselves,” Renfrow stated. “That is bought to catch the attention of all of us — that crew success is way superior to particular person success.
“It would not matter if we have now 50 catches this season apiece, so long as we’re successful. That is the last word objective. That is all that issues. And I believe if we have now that mentality, then it is fairly straightforward to go and do.”
Simple for Renfrow to say, proper? In any case, he joined Carr and defensive finish Maxx Crosby in signing multi-year contract extensions this offseason, whereas Adams inked an enormous cope with Las Vegas (to be honest, Renfrow did make that assertion earlier than being prolonged).
Conspicuous by his absence from the checklist, although, is Waller, a top-3 tight finish within the league who’s paid far under market worth and, sure, can be hoping for an extension. It is simply … he isn’t about to make a scene but, or a stink about it.
“I simply deal with having fun with whereas I am right here, whether or not I am right here 10 years or who is aware of how lengthy,” Waller stated. “My agent’s job is to do this stuff and I simply deal with the soccer half. As a result of if you happen to do not deal with soccer and your thoughts’s elsewhere …”
Waller wandered a bit.
“You have to be locked in as knowledgeable,” he continued. “So I attempt to be knowledgeable on daily basis.”
And therein lies the rub.
As a result of Waller, who turns 30 two days after the Raiders open the season on the Los Angeles Chargers, might probably 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 might have a adverse impact on negotiations, ought to an extension not be accomplished earlier than the season.
Particularly 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 two,341 yards and 12 TDs in 2019 and 2020, when he was named to the Professional Bowl).
Catch-22, a lot?
Contemplate: Waller’s four-year, $29.8 million extension in 2019 makes him simply the 17th-highest paid tight finish within the NFL when it comes to AAV. And no cash is assured for 2022 or 2023.
Extra salt? The Cleveland Browns not too long ago gave unproven David Njoku a four-year deal price as much as $56.75 million, and the San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle, who has a decent end-high AAV of $15 million, has exceeded 85 receptions as soon as in 5 seasons.
Possibly 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 Warmth’s “Huge Three,” when LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in 2010.
“The primary 12 months, it might not have clicked like the way in which they needed it to as a result of it takes chemistry,” Waller stated, referencing the Warmth falling to the Dallas Mavericks within the 2011 NBA Finals. “It really works nice on ‘Madden’ and ‘2K,’ however guys bought to simply accept roles and, ‘OK, that is the scenario I do greatest in,’ after which simply carry a sure degree of unselfishness to the desk. And know that every little thing we do is in regards to the time.”
Aspect observe: Waller has been represented since final September by James’ company, Klutch Sports activities Group.
“As guys, we have achieved particular person issues on our personal,” Waller stated, “and now it is, you already know, perhaps sacrifice that a little bit bit to assist the collective obtain what they wish to obtain.”
All of which sounds good to McDaniels.
“Darren, he is completed every little thing we have requested him to do, and extra,” McDaniels stated. “He is clearly a superb participant. We love having him right here. It is actually a pleasure to teach the man. He comes with an important angle and mindset on daily basis. Works actually exhausting. Right here early, stays late, does additional, takes care of his physique. Does numerous the issues that you’d need any participant to do, and clearly he is been productive along with his alternative. So, love having him right here and looking out ahead to teaching him.”
Plus, he is had Waller watching tape of former New England Patriots tight finish Rob Gronkowski to point out Waller what ought to be in retailer for him in McDaniels’ scheme.
As Waller, who endured commerce rumors this spring, put it, the tape ought to be known as Gronk Working Wild.
“Up the seams, over routes, brief passes and blowing via folks, fade passes on the skin,” Waller stated. “He is lining up all over the place and doing every little thing, actually.
“It is thrilling to see numerous methods I will be used. It is a difficult system, however I like a superb problem. I believe it is bringing the very best out of us.”
However will it pressure the Raiders to carry out the examine guide, once more?