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Ravens sign Mark Andrews for 4 years/56 million


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40 minutes ago, RaidersAreOne said:

Dude would likely be out of the NFL and in serious trouble if not for Gruden. Don't see that being an issue with Waller.

Things change. Waller seeing all these deals is going to want a huge raise. If he balls out again, then I'd give it about a 99% chance he demands it.

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1 hour ago, seminoles1 said:

Things change. Waller seeing all these deals is going to want a huge raise. If he balls out again, then I'd give it about a 99% chance he demands it.

I never usually bet against, nor hold it against players that hold out for a bigger payday, especially when they have played on a bargain compared to their value for multiple years. However, I truly can't see it with Waller. He constantly not only refuses to hide from his past, he actively puts it out there and talks about it in an effort to inspire others. One of the things he's hit on throughout the off season (includinf in his top 100 segment) is that he feels like people connect his story and all he has overcome combined with his play as sort of a novelty feel good story. He thinks some people want to turn everything into he's great because he overcame addiction and found success as opposed to just recognizing he's an elite TE period.

He feels like he is the best TE in the game. I agree with him. There may be some Raider bias, but he certainly has a debate. When you consider how little time in the grand scheme he has played the TE position and how much he has grown and improved year to year, his final 8 or 9 game stretch is one of, if not the best 8 or 9 game stretch for a TE in NFL history, it's entirely possible we haven't even seen the best Darren Waller yet. 

That last paragraph could go to further the point he could hold out, but I just can't see it. I would never say it's impossible, but what I will say is the team has a lot working in their favor that points against it. For one Waller acknowledges how important the game is, from having a support system and all his friends on the team, to the structure a franchise provides, the benefits that come from athletics from the practices, time in the weight room, and the rewarding sense of accomplishment his success on the field provides to continuing down the right path. He talks about habits because of addiction and how important finding healthy alternative habits and structure is such a key thing to not falling back into old destructive habits.

Then from a football perspective the Raiders have the fact that they gave Waller a shot and believed in him when he was in real danger of being out of the NFL for good. They saw what he was capable of when making the switch to TE. They invested a ton of time and patience in him. The Raiders are the team that gave him an opportunity when very few others were willing, they believed in him so much 2 years ago they basically bet the entire TE position on him being able to play at a starting caliber level. The Raiders then proceeded to reward him with a long term contract for top half of the league TE money when he hadn't even produced at an elite level for an entire season. Gruden has also made it pretty clear with the moves made and comments made that the offense is built around Waller and what he is capable of doing. Jacobs and Ruggs were guys brought in as pieces that fit fantastically around an offense built around Waller and his strengths (Jacobs controls the run game, demands extra attention in the box, and opens up play action, Ruggs takes off the top to stretch teams both ways and make Wallers life easier where he dominates). Gruden loves him. Carr loves him. And lastly, I can't see a hold out being necessarily because financially speaking, we aren't in a position where doing something to either extend him or give him a pay bump next off season is particularly difficult to make happen. Nor is it really going to keep us from re-signing key guys or guys that are more important to our team. 

It could always happen obviously. But it's far more likely to me if Waller has another fantastic year this season that he will make it known that he would like to see an extension or money moved around to give him a pay bump and doesn't want to hold out to accomplish that, and the team will reward this front offices biggest success with something both sides can live with. I would be pretty surprised to see Waller threaten to hold out, let alone actually miss time, and probably even more surprised if the team really dug in on not finding a solution to keep him happy. 

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13 minutes ago, renndawg37 said:

Lol what about the playoff game 2 years ago against Tennessee? 

That wasn't spying as much as it was a great defensive game plan by Dean Pees. What I am saying is the teams that have tried to dedicate a spy to Lamar have failed a majority of the time because he has once in a generation type of athletic ability. The way to slow him down has been to compress the middle of the field where he thrives. One man can't neutralize him

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