Sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the New York Giants are looking to acquire tight end Darren Waller in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Giants would send a third-round draft pick (No. 100 overall) to the Raiders for Waller, a 2020 Pro Bowler who would provide quarterback Daniel Jones with an established veteran target in the passing game.
Waller had back-to-back seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards in 2019 and 2020, but has been plagued by multiple injuries over the past two seasons, appearing in just 20 total games over that span. Waller still ranks third among NFL tight ends in catches (280) and receiving yards (3,394) since 2019, behind Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews.
The draft pick headed to Las Vegas was originally acquired by the Giants this past October in a trade that sent receiver Kadarius Toney to Kansas City.
That trade – coupled with the ineffectiveness of Kenny Golladay and Sterling Sheppard’s season-ending knee injury – left Jones with an inexperienced receiving corps for New York’s surprising postseason run and led to widespread belief that Giants general manager Joe Scion will be looking for a passing-game upgrade. This off season.
Jones’ leading receiver the previous season was wide receiver Darius Slayton, who finished with 724 yards. But Schoen found an innovative way to improve the receiving corps with Tuesday’s trade, which was perhaps necessary because of what is considered a weak group of wide receivers in free agency.
The Giants will have the 30-year-old Waller under contract for the next four seasons thanks to the three-year, $51 million extension he signed with the Raiders in September. New York is expected to use the two-tight-end formation that featured last year’s fourth-round pick Waller and Daniel Bellinger at this position.
Waller became expendable to Las Vegas after the Raiders agreed to a three-year deal earlier Tuesday with free agent receiver Jacoby Meyers, joining a receiving corps that already includes Davante Adams and Hunter Renfro. Are. Backup tight end Foster Morrow performed well last season in spot duty in Waller’s place, but he is set to hit free agency, leaving Las Vegas with Jesper Horstedt and Cole Fotheringham the only tight ends currently under contract. Is.
The Raiders are also interested in signing veteran free agent tight end Mercedes Lewis, according to Schefter.
Las Vegas reportedly turned down a second-round pick from the Packers for Waller at last year’s trade deadline, but now has 12 draft picks, including the Giants’ third-rounder, in a draft full of tight end prospects. Heavy with.
The 6-foot-6 Waller appeared in just nine games last season, recording 28 receptions for 388 yards and three touchdowns.
Waller recently married Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum. The Aces are also owned by Raiders owner Mark Davis.
ESPN’s Jordan Ranan and Paul Gutierrez contributed to this report.