What in the actual hell are the Las Vegas Raiders smoking?

Darren Waller is headed to New York
Photo: AP

Finding advantages other teams don’t have is a key to success in the NFL. If it’s a rare every-down running back, keep him and pay him. Could you imagine one of the NFL teams with an elite quarterback shipping them away no matter what assets they receive in return? Then you have what the Las Vegas Raiders reportedly did on Tuesday, sending former Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller to the New York Giants for only a third-round pick (No. 100 overall) in this year’s draft. A clear advantage pushed from coast to coast so you can select someone on Day 2 of the NFL Draft? Pass whatever weed you have to me because that logic is mind-numbing.

Waller recently got married this month too. His wife, Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum, can now celebrate her first weeks as Mrs. Waller sorting through the crazy real-estate market of New York City, well, East Rutherford, New Jersey. Maybe that’ll make things easier so you don’t pay $5000 a month in rent for a 700 sq. ft. apartment with a private bathroom across from an old man who lets his cat pee in the hallway. Now that’s what I call luxury. Waller’s entrance to the Giants confirms that the NFC East is the best division in football. The Super Bowl runner-up, an always-solid Cowboys’ squad, the Commanders, who’ve had a great offseason by bringing Eric Bieniemy into the fold as offensive coordinator, and now New York makes a big splash to keep last year’s momentum going.

As far as what Waller leaves behind in Las Vegas, it’s far from paradise. The Broncos were the NFL’s most disappointing team last season but they won’t stay down for long with Sean Payton at the helm. And how do Raiders fans think they can compete with the Chargers or Chiefs? They’re light years better than y’all. One of the only foundational pieces Las Vegas had to build for a better future will now play his home games across the street from the second biggest mall in America. Why would Josh Jacobs commit his future to Sin City? To get handed the ball by Jimmy Garoppolo? To receive blocking from a shoddy offensive line? To finish fourth in the AFC West for the foreseeable future? Sounds like a blast!

It’s so much easier in the NFL to crumble than to build. Look at how the Commanders have fared over the last three decades, never making it past the NFC Divisional Round since a Super Bowl win 31 years ago with their Grampa Simpson rotation of quarterbacks. By trading away Waller, Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler admits he’s not interested in having Las Vegas win anything, anytime soon. The pick the Raiders received for Waller was the exact one the Giants got, along with a sixth-round selection, by trading away 2021 first-round pick Kadarius Toney to the Chiefs last October. It makes New York look a little less stupid for making that deal five months ago to pretty much acquire Waller in place of the now-Super Bowl champion. The Raiders however need to put down that blunt and actually try to compete.

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