The Raiders made a splash on Monday with the signing of free agent QB Jimmy Garoppolo, and they weren’t done making headlines as they made two of the biggest moves of the day early on Tuesday. First, the team signed WR Jakobi Meyers, one of the top wide receivers on the free agent market, to a three-year contract. Within hours after signing Meyers, the Raiders made another big move, trading Pro Bowl TE Darren Waller to the New York Giants for a third-round pick (No. 100 overall).
Waller built a career with the Raiders after famously being signed off the Ravens’ practice squad during the Jon Gruden years. Waller’s struggle with addiction early in his career has been well documented, and after getting sober, he became one of the best tight ends in the NFL in the Raiders offense. However, things hadn’t gone right for the star tight end over the last two seasons as he missed significant time due to injuries, and at the age of 30, the Raiders’ brain trust of Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels felt it was time to move on from one of the league’s top talents at the position.
The Raiders’ new-look passing attack now features QB Jimmy Garoppolo and WR Jakobi Meyers to pair up with WRs Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow. Raiders TE Foster Moreau remains a free agent, so tight end is now a clear position of need for Las Vegas.
Meyers, 26, developed into an underrated receiver in the post-Brady years in New England, topping 800 receiving yards in both 2021 and 2022. Meyers, as well as Garoppolo, has familiarity with head coach Josh McDaniels from their New England days. He operated out of the slot a majority of his offensive snaps in 2022, but as long as Renfrow remains a part of the Raiders’ plans, Meyers will likely be asked to line up outside much more in 2023.
The Raiders’ offensive additions are likely far from finished as the team may continue to sign free agents, including ongoing negotiations with franchise-tagged RB Josh Jacobs. With more trade possibilities, whether in the NFL Draft order or in the veteran market, and needs along the offensive line, the offense continues to be a work in progress for McDaniels and Ziegler.
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