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Raiders mailbag: Fans have questions about Darren Waller

The Raiders have an improved roster, but still have holes to fill.

As free agency hits the second phase and focus begins to shift to the draft, their fans have questions ranging from the possibility of trading Darren Waller to extending him on a new deal to the state of the offensive and defensive lines.

Here is a sampling of what arrived this week:

Jacob (Beaulieu☠@JacobBeaulieu): What happens when Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs and Hunter Renfrow all need extensions?

VINCENT BONSIGNORE: There is no doubt Darren Waller is underpaid, but it was his choice to sign a four-year contract for $29 million two years ago that gave him the security of $10 million guaranteed. Remember, he was in the midst of a breakout season and set to become a restricted free agent when he agreed to the deal.

At the time, it made sense. But today, he is underpaid compared to his peers. As it stands, he has two years left on the deal for roughly $7 million each year. At some point, expect he and the Raiders to sit down and talk about a new deal, although that might not happen until after this season.

Renfrow is also due for a new deal. The sense is something could happen before or during training camp.

The Raiders have to make a decision to make on whether to pick up the fifth-year option on Jacobs. Doing so would mean Jacobs would be paid $8 million in 2022.

Sensational Gus (@sensational_gus): Why do people think it’s a good idea to trade a Top Three player from a position that is usually lucky to have enough high-end players to even have a Top 3?

VB: Going to assume this is in reference to Waller, who some people have assumed might be an asset the Raiders look to trade to get back into the first round.

You can never say never, and if Waller and his group decide they are not going to play under the current contract — he has two years, $14 million left — it could force the Raiders’ hand. More than likely, they sign him to an extension. But if they aren’t willing to meet the demand, and he is adamant about not playing under the current deal, then maybe he becomes a trade asset.

Hard to imagine, though, that he would paint himself into that corner. If he plays well this year, he will be in line for a big payday on a new deal this time next year.

From the Raiders’ perspective, he is a tremendous asset at the current price point. So why trade him?

Matt Berger (@matt_berger): What is your confidence level in the offensive and defensive lines? Where do you expect them to add?

VB: With the re-signing of Johnathan Hankins on Friday, it feels like the Raiders are done, at least in free agency, along the defensive line. They really overhauled that group this offseason, adding Bilal Nichols, Vernon Butler, Kyle Peko and Andrew Billings in the interior and Chandler Jones as a rush end. The group fits much better with what new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham likes to do upfront, and what he needs in terms of skills and body type. For now, the book might be closed there. The feeling is they have improved.

The offensive line remains a work in progress, and until they can add a legitimate starter at right tackle, there has to be some level of concern.

VirgoMan (@VaderRaider): Are we hearing anything about schedule release?

VB: The schedule has been released in May the last couple of years, but with things returning to normal, it might happen in April this year.

Javier gonzalez (@Javierg34583094): What’s your overall free agency grading?

VB: Right now, A-. The only reason it isn’t a straight-A is the offensive line still hasn’t been squared away.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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