TE Darren Waller Contemplating Retirement

TODAY, 8:50am: Not so fast. Waller is still considering retirement and is “undecided” on his NFL future, per Schwartz and Dunleavy. The New York Post duo add that the Giants were “convinced” that Waller was returning following a conversation with his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. Now, they’re facing the prospect of having to find a new tight end for next season.

FRIDAY, 12:45pm: Things did not go according to plan for the Giants or Darren Waller in 2023. After the veteran tight end gave thought to hanging up his cleats, though, he will remain in New York for at least one more season.

Waller was acquired via trade from the Raiders last March. Vegas had grown frustrated with his injury troubles during his time with the team, and the move provided an opportunity to start over. However, hamstring issues continued to lead to missed time, and the 31-year-old was limited to 12 games with the Giants.

Paul Schwartz and Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post report Waller contemplated retirement following another frustrating campaign. The former Pro Bowler managed 52 catches for 552 yards and one touchdown in his debut New York season, figures which fell well short of his best years with the Raiders. Poor play along the offensive line quarterback injuries hampered the team as well, of course, but few would argue with Waller being a cut candidate given his contract status and injury history.

In spite of that, the Post reports notes that the Giants will retain him for 2024. Waller has three more years on his deal, but none of his base salary is guaranteed in that span. He is due to carry cap hits ranging from $14MM to $17.5MM between now and 2026, and in the next two seasons a release would yield notable cap savings. The same would also be true if the Giants moved on via a Post-June 1 designation this year, but they will instead keep Waller in the fold for another season.

Dunleavy adds that New York has been connected to a free agent move at the tight end spot this offseason. A veteran backup could complement Waller’s skillset while providing insurance against further missed time. If no agreement is worked out on that front, the Giants also have 2022 fourth-rounder Daniel Bellinger in place on his rookie contract.

Adding at the skill positions will be a major priority for New York this offseason, regardless of if a Daniel Jones successor is drafted or Saquon Barkley is retained. A bounce-back season from Waller would go a long way in leading the team to an improved showing on offense, and he will have the opportunity to deliver one in 2024.

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