Despite spending a lot of money on Hunter Henry and Johnne Smith, the Patriots haven’t been able to get enough out of tight ends the past two seasons. Henry played well and was surprisingly durable, but Smith was a total let down.
It can therefore be argued that New England are set to be upgraded in one of football’s most important positions. And it just so happens that one of the game’s best tight ends is available this offseason.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler surprisingly reported Tuesday that the Raiders could trade receiver Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller this offseason. Fowler said Las Vegas head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler want a “cultural fit” to fine-tune their roster.
We explained why the Renfrow trade makes so much sense for the Patriots. But what about Waller?
Honestly, it’s hard to make a compelling case for such a deal.
If healthy, Waller is arguably the most dynamic tight end in the game. After his three unproductive seasons plagued with on-field and off-field issues, his sixth-round pick in 2015 broke out to the Raiders in 2019, giving him 1,145 yards and a 3-foot finish. He scored 90 receptions for the 7th touchdown. He had a great season in 2020 recording his 1,196 yards on his 107 catches and his TD on nine.
But Waller’s main problem is stay energy. He missed his six games in 2021 and eight more this season, totaling 83 catches and his 1,053 yards he gained in two campaigns. Waller, who turns 31 next September, could end his days as a credible elite tight end.