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Green Bay Packers discussing Darren Waller trade with the Las Vegas Raiders

Vincent Frank

The Green Bay Packers and Las Vegas Raiders have already pulled off a blockbuster trade this offseason with star wide receiver Davante Adams heading west.

Is there a chance that the two sides could connect on another blockbuster ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas later this week?

According to Packers insider Aaron Nagler of Cheesehead TV, it’s a real possibility. The veteran reporter noted on Monday that Green Bay has discussed a Darren Waller trade with Las Vegas. The report indicates that Waller was involved in discussions between the two sides during the entire Adams’ trade talks. However, NFL rules prohibit additional players to be exchanged in a deal for someone under the franchise tag.

“According to a pair of league sources, however, the Packers are targeting a veteran tight end. Specifically, Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller. The Packers and Raiders have engaged in talks regarding a trade of Waller with an eye toward a deal getting done during this week’s NFL draft.”

Aaron Nagler on Darren Waller trade talks

Related: Green Bay Packers trade scenarios for the 2022 NFL Draft

Why Darren Waller makes sense for the Green Bay Packers

darren waller trade green bay packers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay has been in the market for an Adams replacement ever since dealing him to Las Vegas. Nothing has come to fruition on that end outside of the Packers signing veteran journeyman Sammy Watkins earlier in April.

Fresh off Aaron Rodgers agreeing to a contract extension, the focus of general manager Brian Gutekunst must be on getting him more weapons. Adding a former Pro Bowl tight end in Waller would do just that.

  • Darren Waller stats (2019-20): 197 receptions, 2,341 yards, 12 TD, 75% catch rate

While Waller had a down 2021 season due to a combination of multiple injuries and spending time on the COVID-19 list, he’s one of the top play-making tight ends in the NFL. A move of this ilk also wouldn’t prevent Green Bay from exhausting one of its two first-round picks on a wide receiver or pulling off another trade for a pass-catcher to help Rodgers moving forward.

Waller, 30 is under contract for two more seasons. His cap hit for the 2022 campaign would come in at $6.5 million for an acquiring team. Finances wouldn’t be an issue here for the Packers.

Related: Updated 2022 NFL mock draft

Why would the Las Vegas Raiders pull off a Darren Waller trades?

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a couple things to focus on here. A fourth-round pick of the Raiders back in 2019, Foster Moreau is coming off a career-best 2021 campaign that saw him catch 30 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns while hauling in 68% of his targets from Derek Carr. He’s roughly five years younger than Waller and could have a long-term future in Sin City.

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Secondly, Vegas now finds itself without a first or second-round pick in the coming NFL Draft after trading both selections to Green Bay in the aforementioned Davante Adams blockbuster.

Despite having an active offseason and improving the roster, first-year general manager Dave Ziegler would like to acquire more draft capital. With Moreau aboard, moving Waller would be the best way to do just that without impacting his team too much from a talent/depth standpoint.

How would a Darren Waller trade to the Green Bay Packers look?

Given Waller’s contract status and history of success, a deal of this ilk would not come cheap. The starting-off point would have to be the Packers’ original second-round pick (59th overall).

They would then likely have to offer up another mid-round selection. That could come in the form of the 92nd pick in the third round. Green Bay also boasts two fourth-round selections (132nd and 140th) that could entice Las Vegas.