Giants could make a bold decision with leading receiver if Darren Waller retires

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) gets ready to score a touchdown during a 24-point Giants first half, Sunday, January 7, 2024
Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK

Should tight end Darren Waller call it a career this offseason, the New York Giants could move off of one of their most integral offensive weapons to position themselves for a major roster upgrade.

Darius Slayton could be an intriguing trade candidate

darius slayton, new york giants
Oct 23, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) catches a pass for a touchdown defended by Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Tre Herndon (37) in the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin named Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton as the franchise’s top trade candidate when assessing all 32 teams and their biggest needs at this juncture of the offseason (h/t Kevin Hickey of The Sporting News):

“Skipping voluntary workouts in an apparent bid for a new contract, Slayton has quietly topped 700 receiving yards in four of five NFL seasons. But with first-round pick Malik Nabers onboard, he’s also expendable. Cutting or trading him would save the Giants anywhere from $3.8 million to $6.4 million,” Benjamin wrote on May 30.

Slayton rejoins a crowded Giants receiving corp ahead of 2024 season

new york giants, darius slayton
Nov 20, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) gains yards after the catch as Detroit Lions cornerback Jerry Jacobs (39) tackles during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Slayton rejoined the Giants at OTA’s on May 28. Now that he’s in the fold again, for now, the Giants have an abundance of wideouts they can deploy on the outside next season. The expectation is that 2024 No. 6 overall pick Malik Nabers will be the featured receiver for the G-Men.

Slayton, who led New York with 770 receiving yards in 2023, would still have a strong case to earn the lion share of snaps at WR2 opposite Nabers. Though, team personnel have raved about big play talent WR Jalin Hyatt showing that he’s taken the next step in OTA’s following his team-leading 16.2 yards per reception in 2023 while WR Wan’Dale Robinson approaches the 2024 campaign with serious growth expectations fueled by his superior hands and reliable 76.9 percent catch percentage from a year ago.

Giants could win back $18 million by cutting Slayton if TE Darren Waller retires

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
Jan 7, 2024; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; 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. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Giants opt to move off of Slayton, they’d be left with one of the youngest receiving corps in the entire league. Additionally, the up to $6.4 million they could save by releasing Slayton would allow the Giants to make an impact move elsewhere on their depth chart. How much of an impact they can make at that figure may not be worth the trade-off, especially with many coveted free agents off the market.

However, the Giants will have to play the Slayton situation by ear. If tight end Darren Waller retires and the Giants save $11.6 million with his contract coming off the books, New York could parlay the potential $6.4 million savings from Slayton and have enough cap space to strategically fortify their offense with a game-changer that can help their young core return to playoff contention.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: