Giants eyeing $11.6 million in cap savings via veteran tight end’s departure

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

The New York Giants have exercised patience with tight end Darren Waller as he navigates a personal issue that has him contemplating retirement. Several months ago, Waller expressed uncertainty about his future in the NFL. Although he recently released a new mixtape on social media, he has yet to decide on his career path.

Last season, despite being sidelined by injuries for a significant portion, Waller managed to secure 72 targets, accumulating 552 yards and scoring one touchdown, with a reception rate of 72.2%. At 31 years old and with a history of injuries, Waller’s status remains a critical factor for the Giants, especially considering they could recoup $11.6 million from his potential post-June 1st cut or retirement.

New York Giants tight end Darren Waller (12) catches a touchdown pass during the first half in front of Washington Commanders linebacker Jamin Davis (52) at MetLife Stadium
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Giants’ Tight End Strategy and Cap Space Management

Anticipating Waller’s possible departure, the Giants have already adjusted their team cap space to $1 million. This strategic financial planning positions them to save a substantial amount of money, which could be redirected to address needs in the secondary or other areas as the season progresses.

In the event of Waller’s exit, the Giants plan to rely on Daniel Bellinger and rookie Theo Johnson at the tight end position. Bellinger, who has primarily served as a blocker over the past two years, is expected to see an expanded role in the receiving game.

Meanwhile, Johnson, who boasts a physical frame comparable to Jimmy Graham along with similar receiving skills, is young and relatively raw. The Giants are keen on giving him ample playing time to accelerate his development and integrate him effectively into their offensive strategy.

Should Waller decide to step away from football, the Giants will find themselves with approximately $13 million in available salary cap space, providing them with financial flexibility to manage any emergent team needs.

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