Giants’ Darren Waller officially calls it quits, adds $11.6M in cap space

New York Giants tight end Darren Waller (12) gets out of bounds before being hit by Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson (7) in the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have officially bid farewell to veteran tight end Darren Waller, who announced his retirement from professional football on Sunday. NFL insider Ian Rapoport was the first to report Waller’s decision to retire, marking the end of his NFL career. Waller’s retirement follows a series of music videos that left fans and followers somewhat bewildered, as he now opts for what he calls the “permanent off-season.”

Giants’ Financial Gain and Tight End Room

Waller’s departure from the game frees up $11.6 million in cap space for the Giants but also incurs $2.5 million in dead money for this year and an additional $4.9 million in 2025.

The Giants had given Waller ample time to decide on his future, respecting his need for deliberation. However, since his retirement decision was made post-June 1, the team could not front-load the dead money, which now will be spread predominantly into 2025.

Looking ahead, the Giants’ tight end responsibilities will shift towards Daniel Bellinger and rookie Theo Johnson.

Syndication: The Record, new york giants, theo johnson
Chris Pedota, / USA TODAY NETWORKCredit: Chris Pedota, / USA TODAY NETWORK

Johnson, a promising young talent from Penn State, is expected to take on a significant role in the upcoming season. Last year, he impressed with 341 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, showcasing his athletic prowess with a 4.57 40-yard dash at the substantial size of 6’6″ and 259 pounds.

With the newly available $12.6 million in cap space, the Giants are well-advised to consider reinforcing their secondary. Currently, their defensive backfield ranks as one of the weakest in the NFL in terms of depth and talent. Investing in a veteran cornerback could greatly enhance their defensive lineup and help stabilize a team looking to improve from previous performances.

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