Darren Waller plans to be on the field Sunday afternoon when the Las Vegas Raiders face the Los Angeles Chargers for Week 1.
Waller missed the majority of training camp dealing with a hamstring injury. There is also the matter of his new contract, which has yet to come down despite the Raiders shelling out money elsewhere this season.
Waller confirmed he’d be back from the hamstring injury and isn’t fretting about the contract situation.
“We’ll see, man,” Waller said of getting a new deal, via The Athletic. “There’s not really a lot of things that I can control, you know? I have faith in my representation. Whether it goes one way or it doesn’t, I’ll be playing football. I’ll just let it happen how it does.”
Waller has two seasons remaining on his contract and is set to earn $7 million this season with a $6.25 million base salary. He currently ranks 17th in average salary among tight ends, woefully underpaid compared to his production.
There was some thought that Waller was staging a hold-in during camp in an effort to get a new contract, but the TE said the hamstring injury was real. He returned to practice last week to ramp up for the season.
“It’s tough man because I did want to be out there, but I was a little banged up,” he said, per the Associated Press. “It’s a lot to process mentally, but it be like that sometimes, it’s a whole bunch of ebbs and flows in this league.”
Since he last spoke to the media, Waller changed agents, hiring Drew Rosenhaus. The soon-to-be 30-year-old tight end is confident a deal can still come to fruition at some point.
“Communication has been there with my previous representation and now,” Waller said. “I’m cool with that, and yeah it takes time, maybe a little longer than expected. But I trust them, they’ve been open with me. I really respect (Raiders GM) Dave (Ziegler) and how he’s gone about the process. I believe in this organization, I believe in my representation, so yeah, I feel like it will get done.
“I can attack the season now. We’re at Week 1, so nothing that happened before matters.”
With Waller healthy, Sunday’s game against the Chargers will give our first real look at the revamped Raiders offense under Josh McDaniels.
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