Giants get back veteran receiver holding out for more money

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) scores a touchdown  against the Washington Commanders during the first half at FedExField
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Just before the 2024 NFL draft, veteran receiver Darius Slayton of the New York Giants decided to hold out in hopes of securing a new contract. Last year, Slayton took less money to stay with the Giants, signing a two-year deal worth $12 million, with $4.9 million guaranteed.

At 27, Slayton has observed his peers securing contracts exceeding $12 million annually in the free-agent market this off-season. Clearly, he is seeking an extension from the Giants that reflects his true value, which seems justified given his consistent performance despite the team’s struggles with their offensive line and quarterback instability.

The Giants Could Extend Darius Slayton

Slayton has consistently been the Giants’ top receiver in yardage. Last season, he recorded 769 yards and four touchdowns. His production only fell below 700 yards once in his career, which was in 2021 due to injuries. Despite this, Slayton remains a reliable WR2.

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
Credit: Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK

Following the Giants’ selection of Malik Nabers with the 6th overall pick, Slayton’s leverage might have diminished slightly, but he still returned to the Organized Team Activities (OTAs) this week, even though he has not yet secured a new contract.

Negotiations between the Giants and his agents might be underway to strike a deal that compensates him fairly, particularly as Darren Waller approaches retirement, potentially freeing up a significant amount of salary cap space next year.

The Giants have the financial flexibility to keep Slayton for a few more seasons and develop him alongside Nabers as their primary receivers. However, they also have Jalin Hyatt, their third-round pick from 2023, who shares a similar playing style with Slayton, using his speed to stretch defensive coverages. While Slayton offers more experience and a more refined route tree, the Giants hope Hyatt can follow in his footsteps.

A reasonable proposal might be a three-year, $36 million extension, with an option to exit the agreement after the second year, which would provide the Giants with significant salary cap relief if needed.

Darius has consistently demonstrated team spirit, and if the Giants need to restructure his contract, he would likely be amenable to the idea and do whatever it takes to help the team succeed. His dedication should not be overlooked, particularly as the Giants look to enhance their passing game, where he should play a key role, especially with potential changes at the quarterback position in 2025.

Should the Giants transition to a rookie quarterback next year, they would enjoy considerable financial freedom, making Slayton’s salary a minor long-term concern, especially with the escalating costs of wide receivers.

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