Darren Waller on Raiders-Packers trade rumor: 'There's no trade that's going to happen'

By and , CBS Sports Radio

Earlier this week, with NFL Draft rumors running rampant, CheeseheadTV co-founder and writer Aaron Nagler reported that the receiver-needy Green Bay Packers and Las Vegas Raiders have engaged in trade talks for star tight end Darren Waller. A sensible plan for the Packers, as they recently shipped stud receiver Davante Adams to the Raiders in a mammoth trade, after he refused to play on the franchise tag in 2022.

But if Green Bay has any hopes of acquiring Waller before the draft begins on Thursday night -- or sometime this summer -- they should now be squashed. As it turns out, the Raiders have no intention of cutting ties with the 29-year-old pass-catcher. And it was in fact Waller who broke this news to The Zach Gelb Show on Wednesday, when asked about the trade speculation and his long-term future with the organization.

"I didn't really have much of a reaction [to the report]. I'm focused on learning the offensive system here in Vegas, building relationships with the coaches," Waller told CBS Sports Radio. "I'm focused on what I can control. I love being here, and I love playing with my guys. I really enjoy these new coaches, how they're challenging us, out the gate. Love being in Vegas... I've had talks with the team, they said [a trade] isn't a thing that's happening.

"There's no trade that's going to happen. We're just focusing on football and getting better. Learning the system -- seeing where it's going to take us this season... I have no idea [how the report surfaced]... If I worry about all these different things I can't necessarily control, I can get frustrated. I just try to be as efficient as possible, and focus on what I can give to this team every day, when I show up to the building."

Waller, who missed six games last season due to back and knee injuries and a positive COVID-19 test, racked up 55 catches (93 targets) for 665 yards with two touchdowns. In 2020, he earned Pro Bowl honors by recording a career-best 1,196 receiving yards on 107 receptions with nine scores. Waller will turn 30 in September, and his current contract with the Raiders has two years left ($6.8 million cap hit in 2022) with no guaranteed money.

With a talent like Waller staying put, the championship-starved Raiders will be entering the 2022 season with three pass-catchers who've registered at least one 100-reception campaign in their NFL careers. Only one other team in NFL history -- the 2010 Baltimore Ravens -- has started a season with a dangerous cast of 100-catch targets. Las Vegas has Waller, Adams, and Hunter Renfrow. The revamped Raiders haven't won an AFC West division title since 2002.

The entire Raiders conversation between Waller and Gelb can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow The Zach Gelb Show on Twitter @ZachGelb and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Ethan Miller / Staff / Getty Images