Giants’ Darius Slayton playing his leverage card in hopes of a new contract

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) runs for a touchdown past Philadelphia Eagles safety Reed Blankenship (32) after a catch during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants could be targeting a wide receiver at the top of the 2024 NFL draft, and that could change their plans long-term, with one of their top pass-catchers heading to free agency in 2025.

Jordan Raanan of ESPN reported on Wednesday that Darius Slayton skipped voluntary workouts this week in hopes of landing a new contract extension. He signed a two-year, $12.2 million deal in 2023 and is owed $6.2 million for the final year this upcoming campaign.

Considering Slayton has a 350K bonus, it is surprising that he didn’t show up and is trying to force the Giants’ hand, using the bit of leverage he has left

The Giants Could Go WR in the 1st Round

If Big Blue decides to select a receiver with a 6th overall pick, it will take away some of Slayton’s leverage in the long term since they can reduce the cost of the position and let him walk in free agency. However, if they end up drafting a quarterback, spending a bit of money at the receiver position may be a priority, and Slayton could be first in line to get an extension.

Considering his quality over the past few seasons, Slayton could be in the range of $12–13M per season, doubling his yearly income at just 27 years old. The former fifth-round pick tallied 769 yards with four touchdowns and a 65.8 reception rate last season. Slayton has only dipped below 750 yards once in his career, back in 2021, but he dealt with an injury that season.

Most would label Slayton as a competent WR2, which is a valuable asset for a Giants team that lacks playmakers. They’re currently waiting to see what happens with TE Darren Waller, who is contemplating retirement. If Slayton refuses to play and forces the Giants into a tough spot, he could end up becoming a trade piece this off-season, which could be valuable if they look to move up in the draft to grab a quarterback and want to throw in a kicker.

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