Raiders TE Darren Waller focused on football, not contract, in first year under Josh McDaniels

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller has outplayed his current contract, but despite outside discussions about wanting a new deal with two years left on his pact, the Pro Bowler isn't fretting the future.

"I just focus on enjoying it while I'm here whether I'm here 10 years or who knows how long; I'm just being present here," Waller said Tuesday, via The Athletic. "My agent's job is to do that stuff and I just focus on the football part."

Waller has two seasons remaining on his contract with a base salary of $6.25 million each year but no guaranteed money left. He ranks 17th in average salary among tight ends.

As the Raiders hold mandatory minicamp this week, rather than worrying about his contract, Waller is focusing on diving deep into the new offense under Josh McDaniels.

"Up some seams, over routes, catching short passes and just blowing through people, catching fade balls on the outside," Waller said of what's expected from him this season, per the team's official website. "Lining up everywhere doing everything really."

McDaniels is expected to use Waller similar to how he used Rob Gronkowski in New England.

"I'm excited. It's asking me to do a lot of things," Waller said. "We watch a lot of tape of Rob Gronkowski running wild from old New England clips. So it's exciting to see different ways that I'll be used.

"It's a challenging system, but I love a good challenge. I think it will bring the best out of us."

With the addition of Davante Adams to an offense already sporting Waller and Hunter Renfrow, the Raiders boast three players who can win matchups anywhere on the field.

"It makes defenses make decisions," Waller said. "If they keep double-teaming me, then that's fine. Single cover Davante Adams if you want to; or Hunter Renfrow. I feel like it helps us out. We can all complement off of each other. And I feel like somebody like Josh Jacobs and Kenyan (Drake) and Zamir (White) and guys like that will benefit, too. Because if they want to play a lot of zone, then it'll open up things in the run game. It allows the entire offense to complement off of each other when somebody demands attention."

After dealing with knee, back and COVID issues in 2021 that relegated him to 11 games, a healthy Waller has a chance to eat big in the Raiders' new offense as a mismatch akin to Gronk when he ran wild in McDaniels' scheme.

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