Raiders moved on from Darren Waller at the perfect time

The Las Vegas Raiders made a controversial move by trading away Darren Waller, but it seems to have turned out positively for Las Vegas.

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders / Jeff Bottari/GettyImages

The story of Darren Waller's rise to stardom as a member of the Raiders franchise was storybook-like. Waller shook off demons off the field to become one of the premier tight ends in the NFL, serving as an incredible weapon in the Raiders passing game.

Coming over to the franchise off the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad, it did not take long to realize the Raiders had something special in him. Blessed with incredible athletic skills, Waller instantly became a major part of the Raiders offense, and he and Derek Carr developed quite the relationship.

Waller played in only four games for the Raiders during the 2018 NFL season, catching all six of his targets, before bursting onto the scene in 2019. That season, the tight end caught 90 balls for over 1,100 yards and three scores, setting the stage for what would be a record-breaking season in 2020.

In 2020, Waller set the franchise record for receptions in a single season, hauling in 107 passes to go along with another 1,100-plus yard season. He also found the end zone nine times that year, establishing himself as one of the best in the game.

Unfortunately for Waller, injuries started to catch up to him, as he missed time in both 2021 and 2022 as a member of the Raiders. Following the 2022 season, the Raiders traded him away to the New York Giants for the No. 100 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and now, that appears to have been a great move by the franchise.

Former Raiders star eyeing retirement?

This offseason, rumors have been swirling around Waller that he is ready to hang up his cleats for good. After one season with the Giants, Waller has been quiet about his future, but the team has started to stack talent at the position group around him, so that could be an indication that they do not think he will be back for a second go-around next season.

If Waller does retire, and Tre Tucker builds off a solid rookie campaign, you have to believe that the Raiders won a trade than many shook their heads about last offseason.