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The New York Giants are acquiring tight end Darren Waller in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Giants will send a third-round draft pick (No. 100 overall) to the Raiders for Waller, a 2020 Pro Bowler who will provide quarterback Daniel Jones with an established veteran target in the passing game.
Waller had back-to-back seasons of 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 from the Chiefs this past October in the trade that sent receiver Kadarius Toney to Kansas City.
That trade — coupled with Kenny Golladay’s ineffectiveness and Sterling Shepard’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 Schoen would look for passing-game upgrades this offseason.
Jones’ leading receiver last 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 perhaps was necessary because of what is considered a weak group of wide receivers in free agency.
The Giants will have Waller, 30, 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 utilize a lot of two-tight-end formations featuring Waller and Daniel Bellinger, a fourth-round pick last year, at the position.
Waller likely became expendable to Las Vegas after the Raiders agreed to a three-year deal earlier Tuesday with free agent receiver Jakobi Meyers, who joins a receiving corps that already includes Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow. Backup tight end Foster Moreau played well last season in spot duty replacing Waller, but he is scheduled to hit free agency, leaving Las Vegas with Jesper Horsted and Cole Fotheringham as the only tight ends currently under contract.
The Raiders are also interested in signing veteran free agent tight end Marcedes 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 that is heavy with tight end prospects.
The 6-foot-6 Waller appeared in just nine games last season, hauling in 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.