NFL insider Michael Lombardi claims Darren Waller’s price is all about ‘durability’


When Darren Waller was transferred to the New York Giants at the start of free agency, many wondered, “Why now?”

On March 14, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein tweeted Packers offered Their second-round pick versus the 30-year-old tight end during the regular season last year.

But then Las Vegas traded Waller in exchange for a third-round pick, and I took less than that for a one-time Pro Bowler.

Michael Lombardi, a league insider and former NFL Network analyst, was involved in the deal.

This is about durability“,” Lombardi, a former Patriots receivers coach, said on his podcast Dodge GM related to tr.

Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders responded after his first touchdown during the second quarter in the game against the New York Giants
Darren Waller was traded to the Giants after an injury-plagued season.
Dustin Satloff / Getty Images

“This is about ‘I’m getting ready to pay you $11 million, we renewed your contract and in the bye week, instead of rehab, you went home for four days and the fines piled up. On the farewell week, you went home and didn’t talk to anyone. I just got home and left a message saying “Hi, ok. I’m not interested. I’m going to Southern California…”

Lombardi himself has two sons employed by the Raiders, which gives more credence to this report.

New England Patriots receivers Coach Mick Lombardi looks on during the NFL football game between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts on December 18, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Lombardi used to work as a receivers coach for the Patriots.
Michael Aliu/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

But that’s just one aspect of what could be a biased story.

Regardless, the Giants are looking to wrap their arms around Waller and make him a key part of this rebuilding offense that has already added Paris Campbell and quit Darius Slayton.

Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders warms up before a game against the New England Patriots at Allegiant Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Waller has emerged as one of the best tight ends in the NFL in 2020.
Jeff Butari / Getty Images

Waller has $11 million on his contract this year, and his contract next year is not guaranteed, making the 2023 season a proven deal for the injury-plagued tight end.

He’s only played 18 of a possible 33 games in the past two seasons.

But Waller still has an enormous amount of upside.

During his Pro Bowl year in 2020, Waller recorded 107 receptions, a league-leading record among tight ends, for 1,196 yards.

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