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

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

On March 14, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein tweeted: Provided by the Packers He was a second-round pick in exchange for the 30-year-old tight end during last year’s regular season.

But Las Vegas then traded Waller for a third-round pick, making it even less of a one-off Pro Bowler.

League insider and former NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi offered his opinion on the trade.

about durability,” Lombardi, the Patriots’ former receiver coach, said on the podcast: GM Shuffle Waller related.

Darren Waller was traded to the Giants after an injury-plagued season.
Dustin Satoroff/Getty Images

“This is ‘I’m preparing to pay you $11 million. We redid your contract. In the goodbye week, instead of rehab, you went home for four days and paid your fines.’ In the goodbye week, you went home and didn’t talk to anyone, you went home and left a message saying “Hey how are you”. I do not care. I’m going to Southern California…”

Lombardi himself has two sons who are employed by the Raiders, lending credence to the report.

New England Patriots receiver coach Mick Lombardi watches the NFL football game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts on December 18, 2021 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Lombardi worked as a receiver coach for the Patriots.
Michael Ario/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

But that’s just one side of the story that’s biased.

Either way, the Giants have wrapped their arms around Waller and are looking to add him to a key part of this rebuilding offense that has already added Paris Campbell and forced Darius Slayton to resign.

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

With Waller on a $11 million deal this year and no contract guaranteed next year, the 2023 season will be a proof deal for the frequently injured tight end.

He has played just 18 of 33 games over the past two seasons.

But Waller still has a big advantage.

In the 2020 Pro Bowl year, Waller recorded 107 receptions for 1,196 yards. This is a league-leading record among tight ends.

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