The league is full of great tight ends such as Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Mark Andrews among others. One player who didn’t think he would be known as one of the best tight ends in the league is Las Vegas’ Darren Waller.
As it has been known, Waller became victim to substance abuse at a young age. He started off taking oxycontin at the age of 15 and later started indulging in alcohol. When speaking on how he felt at the time, Waller said, “I just didn’t respect who I was because I knew how much I was performing to just impress other people.”
After a lot of debate, Waller signed a contract extension with the Raiders to stick with the team through 2026. With his old contract, he would’ve been making roughly seven million dollars in each of the next two seasons. But, with his new contract, Waller will be making slightly over $13 million each year through 2026.
With this new deal, he has become the highest paid tight end in the league, surpassing Kittle. All of a sudden, Waller has gone from having the 18th highest annual salary amongst tight ends to number one on the list.
Breaking Out in Las Vegas
A contract extension was in the cards for Waller, as the Raiders couldn’t let him slip away. Unfortunately, he did miss six games last season due to injury. Although, he did enough over the prior two seasons to be amongst the top at his position. Over those two seasons, Waller pulled in 197 receptions for 2,341 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Raiders are hoping to see more of that side of Waller’s game after locking him in for the next few seasons.
Waller’s story is one of triumph and perseverance. What was once a young boy losing himself, turning to drugs and alcohol to cope, is now a star in the NFL and the highest paid at his position.
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