Could the Giants release TE Darren Waller after just one season?

New York Giants tight end Darren Waller (12) makes a catch in front of Philadelphia Eagles safety Tristin McCollum (36) during the second half at MetLife Stadium
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It is a question that will surround the New York Giants all summer: should they cut Darren Waller this offseason?

With the Giants coming off of a brutal 6-11 regular season record and one of their worst offensive years in franchise history, the team clearly has a plethora of areas that need a retool. They currently own the sixth pick in this year’s upcoming draft, and while the perceived notion is that they will select a quarterback, nothing is conclusive at this time.

The team is also looking to open up cap space this offseason, and Waller’s contract could be at risk of alteration in order for New York to free up some money.

Darren Waller didn’t live up to the hype in 2023

Waller was the Giants’ blockbuster acquisition last offseason, but he didn’t have the impact in his first season with the team that they had hoped. Considering that they only gave up a third-round pick when they traded for the tight end, it was a low-risk, high-reward type move, but unfortunately, the G-men dealt with what could be a declining Waller from a production standpoint.

Waller, 31, only reached the end zone once in 2023. He also missed a good chunk of the season with a nagging hamstring injury, unable to shake off the bad injury luck that has struck him in recent years.

However, was still one of the team’s leading receivers with 552 yards, but the production when he was on the field was a precipitous drop-off compared to his previous seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders.

It may be logical for the Giants to take the out in Waller’s contract

Taking the out in Waller’s contract seems logical for the Giants. According to Spotrac, the Giants can save $6.25 million in salary cap space if they release Waller this offseason. That money could then be used to sign veterans that would fortify the offensive line, an area that the Giants need the most significant improvements in.

At the tight end position, cutting Waller would open up more opportunities for promising youngster Daniel Bellinger, who has shown the potential to be a serviceable offensive weapon.

They could also add a tight end through the draft, and if they opt to not take a quarterback, Georgia’s Brock Bowers could be someone New York targets at pick no. 6.

If the Giants want to play it safe, they could cut Waller to open up cap space, use that money to upgrade the offensive line, and elevate Bellinger to TE1 on the depth chart. If they choose to keep Waller for next season, the risk of holding onto another bad contract becomes even greater.

Of course, there is always the possibility that Waller stays and has a bounce-back campaign next season. However, banking on that happening comes with a big risk.

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