Darren Waller says he did not see trade coming from Raiders

Mar 16, 2023, 1:30 PM | Updated: Mar 20, 2023, 8:54 am

Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs and Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders meet on t...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 07: Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs and Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders meet on the field after their game at Allegiant Stadium on January 07, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

The Las Vegas Raiders made a surprising move Monday, trading tight end Darren Waller to the New York Giants.

In return, the Giants are sending Las Vegas a third-round pick in this year’s draft.

In his introductory press conference with the Giants, Waller admitted he was just as surprised by the move by many fans.

“I did not see this coming,” Waller said. “I was getting ready to just do everything I could to make myself available for the Raiders and get ready for everything that was going to start in mid-April. It caught me off guard, but it’s the nature of the business.”

Before the start of last season, Darren Waller and the Raiders agreed to a three-year contract extension. The extension included $51 million in new money.

The tight end only played in nine games for the Raiders in 2022, limited by injuries throughout the season. Last season, he only caught 28 receptions for 388 yards and three touchdowns. His best years with the Raiders were in 2019 and 2020, where he caught 197 receptions for 2,341 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Waller was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2015 draft. In two years with Baltimore, he only caught 12 receptions for 103 yards.

When asked how he’s feeling, he said there are a lot of positive emotions. He’s also grateful to the Raiders’ organization for giving him a chance and supporting him and all of his off-field causes.

“Getting a clean slate with the Raiders was amazing for me,” Waller said. “Moving to Vegas, setting up roots there and just getting involved with the community, making friends outside of football and just great people inside the game of football, it’s been a great place and will continue to be home for me and my wife.”

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