Since Klutch Sports created its football division in 2019, they have made quite a bit of noise within the industry, hiring prominent agents Damarius Bilbo and Nicole Lynn to lead the division, both of whom brought prominent players with them from their previous agencies. Klutch took another step to making even more noise within the industry as Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller has signed with the agency. Bilbo and Kelton Crenshaw will be Waller’s primary agents, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Waller, 28, turned in a career year in 2020. He produced a career high in targets (145), receptions (107), yards (1,196), and touchdowns (9). The Georgia Tech product also led all tight ends last season in yards after catch (594 yards) and is third among all players in yards after catch since 2019, according to Pro Football Focus.
One has to think Waller, a sixth round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, is overly eager to secure a new deal, which explains the shift in representation. While Waller signed a four-year, $29.8 million extension in 2019, his contract does not appear to include any guaranteed money beyond this year, according to Over The Cap. His base salary for 2022 and 2023 is $6.25 million, in addition to a $250,000 roster bonus ($15,625 per game he is active) and a $250,000 workout bonus each year.
As to what a potential new contract for Waller may entail, look no further than the four-year, $56 million deal that Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews signed earlier this week. That deal includes $37.58 million in total guarantees, including $30 million guaranteed at signing ($10.2 million signing bonus + $920,000 (2021 salary) + $3.5 million (2022 salary) + $15.5 million (2022 option bonus)). The $14 million average per year (APY) ranks third among tight ends, trailing Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce ($14.3 million APY) and San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle ($15 million APY), according to Spotrac.
The Raiders open the 2021 season against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football.