Should the Giants trade star tight end at the deadline?

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

With the New York Giants‘ season falling apart, they could approach this season’s trade deadline as sellers, and a potential move involving their star offseason acquisition, TE Darren Waller, could be a possibility.

Could the Giants trade Darren Waller?

As of now, there is no indication that the 31-year-old tight end is on the trade block, so the odds of him suiting up for a different team after the deadline are very slim. However, the possibility is certainly worth considering after the team’s dreadful start to the season.

It initially sounds egregious for New York to consider moving to the guy they traded a third-round pick for this offseason. But it is clear that the Giants are still in the rebuilding phase after their 1-5 start to the season in which they rank towards the bottom of the league in nearly every major offensive category.

The expectation coming into the season was that the addition of Waller would significantly upgrade the Giants’ passing offense, an area that needed improvements entering the offseason, but that has been far from a reality so far.

In fact, one could argue the offense looks worse than it did last season.

Has Darren Waller failed to meet expectations?

With the team’s immense struggles at the offensive line, New York has been unable to get the most out of Waller, and without a true playmaker to draw attention at the wide receiver position, targets have been scarce for him. He leads the Giants in targets at 41, but his 6.8 targets/game is a massive drop-off from his nine targets/game with the Raiders in his stellar 2020 season.

He still has not recorded a touchdown in six games this season, and the team only has two passing touchdowns all season and none in the last three games.

Obviously, those issues are out of Waller’s control, but with the team still needing a lot of work to be done to address the areas of concern, it might take some time before more targets open up for Waller, and given his recent injury history, there is only so much time left before those injuries catch up to him.

Moving Waller could clear cap space

Waller is under contract with the Giants until 2027 when the record-setting extension he signed with the Raiders expires.

If the Giants want significant upgrades at either wide receiver or the offensive line, parting with Waller would open up some cap space for them to pursue those upgrades.

It would be a rough look for the front office if the Giants moved on from Waller before he completed a full season in New York, and while such a departure does not appear to be likely, this is food for thought with the deadline approaching.

Follow this writer on X: @DylanBacker_

Mentioned in this article:

More about: