Darius Slayton

Darius Slayton Would Have Welcomed Trade If Giants Planned To Reduce Role

Joining Courtland Sutton as a starter-level wide receiver — but one south of the NFL’s top tier — to angle for a contract adjustment this offseason, Darius Slayton returned to work during Giants OTAs. A minor incentive update took place to bring the sixth-year pass catcher back to the team.

Rather than threaten Daniel Jones‘ job security and future in New York with a quarterback move in the first round, the Giants likely impacted Slayton’s by choosing Malik Nabers sixth overall. Slayton, who has led the Giants in receiving yards four times in the past five years, still stands to play a regular role in 2024. But the Giants also have Joe Schoen draftees Wan’Dale Robinson and Jalin Hyatt on the roster, complicating the Dave Gettleman-era draftee’s status.

[RELATED: Assessing Slayton’s Trade Candidacy]

Slayton, however, expects to remain a regular presence. But if the Giants were not planning to use the former fifth-rounder frequently, he would have welcomed a trade.

I don’t play football to just play,” Slayton said during an appearance on Keyshawn Johnson’s All Facts, No Brakes podcast (via the New York Daily News). “I want the chance to show that I’m amongst the best in the game. But the reality of being a receiver is if you don’t get the opportunities to do so, you’re not gonna have the production.

“Obviously you’re trying to maximize your dollars. But at the same time, I kinda wanted to make sure it was known that if being here and me being a part of the offense — and being a big part of the offense — is not the thing here, then that’s OK. But we’d either like to move on and go somewhere else or make the investment that implies that I am that. So that was kind of where we ended up.”

It will still be interesting to see if Slayton’s role diminishes significantly, as the Giants will be aiming for Nabers to lead the way at receiver. Slayton has been a de facto No. 1 wideout for a team that has made some missteps at the position since trading Odell Beckham Jr., never exceeding 800 receiving yards in a season but eclipsing 700 four times. Slayton only commanded 79 targets last season; that ranked 52nd in the NFL last season.

Neither Robinson nor Hyatt have become reliable performers just yet, either, but the Giants have those Day 2 draftees respectively signed through 2025 and 2026. Slayton’s two-year, $12MM deal expires at season’s end. Even though the 27-year-old veteran returned to the Giants in May, he will probably come up in trade rumors — especially if Robinson and/or Hyatt take a step forward — before the November deadline. If the Giants wanted to move on before the season, no guaranteed money remains on Slayton’s deal.

Isaiah Hodgins, Allen Robinson and others are vying for the team’s No. 5 wide receiver spot, but Slayton — who rebounded from a rare rookie-deal pay cut in 2022 to sign his $6MM-per-year accord — is viewed as safely on the roster. With a few teams in need of receiver help, Slayton’s status will be worth monitoring in the months before the deadline.

NFL Contract Details: Slayton, Fornadel, Bates, Hand

Here are some details on recent contracts reached around the NFL:

  • Darius Slayton, WR (Giants): Two years, $12MM. We already covered the Giants’ new contract with Slayton containing added incentives and its impact on the team’s salary cap. Thanks to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, we finally have details on what those incentives will be. Like his incentives from the 2023 season, Slayton’s incentives will fall under the three main receiving categories: receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Each category is broken into three non-cumulative tiers; if Slayton reaches the second or third tier, he will only receive the money for those tiers, not adding them to the lower tiers. Slayton will receive $100K for reaching 51 receptions, $300K for 60 receptions, and $600K for 70; he will get $100K for reaching 771 receiving yards, $300K for 875 yards, and $600K for 1,000; finally, he can get $100K for reaching six touchdowns, $300K for eight scores, and $600K for 10. While these incentives were in place last year, the update increased each second tier by $50K and each third tier by $100K. The team also added a $350K incentive based on whether or not Slayton makes the Pro Bowl. Should Slayton hit every top incentive, he has the opportunity to earn an additional $2.15MM.
  • Liam Fornadel, G (Patriots): Three years, $2.83MM. Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 reports the above details for Fornadel’s contract. One of the XFL’s recent additions to the NFL, Fornadel’s deal is worth quite a bit more than some of his former XFL peers’.
  • Jake Bates, K (Lions): Two years, $1.98MM. According to Wilson, Bates NFL deal includes a total guaranteed amount of $150K with $100K of that amount consisting of his signing bonus and the other $50K being guaranteed in his first-year base salary of $795K. His second-year base salary will be worth $960K.
  • Harrison Hand, CB (Falcons): One year, $1.06MM. Hand will get the minimum, per Wilson, with no guarantees, bonuses, or incentives reported as of right now.

Contract Details: Jennings, Slayton, Maye

Here are some details on recently agreed upon deals from around the league:

  • Jauan Jennings, WR (49ers): Two years, $15.39MM. We noted a couple of details in our original report of Jennings’ one-year bump, but thanks to OvertheCap.com, we now have a few more details. First, we see that San Francisco is taking advantage of the recent void year trend that continues to grow in popularity. Jennings’ deal contains four void years at the conclusion of his contract, spreading $14.15MM of his cap hit from 2026 to 2029. Because of this, his cap hits for the next two years will be $2.77MM and $4.26MM, respectively, but if he doesn’t sign a new deal by 2026, he will hold an $8.3MM cap hit despite not being on the roster that year. We originally noted the reported guarantees as $10.54MM, but we now know that he is guaranteed $8.44MM at signing consisting of his $6.21MM signing bonus and both years’ base salaries (worth $1.06MM in 2024 and $1.17MM in 2025).
  • Darius Slayton, WR (Giants): Two years, $12MM. We recently saw the Giants add some incentives to a restructured deal for their leading receiver of the past few years. Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 reports that, as a result of the new deal, New York will see Slayton’s cap hit drop from $8.15MM to $7.75MM. His base salary in 2024 also sees a reduction from $2.7MM to $2.5MM. He should receive a $2.4MM roster bonus, a $350K workout bonus, and could earn up to $750K for the year in per game active roster bonuses.
  • Drake Maye, QB (Patriots): Four years, $36.64MM. Most rookies don’t get much say in how their first NFL contracts look. Overall contract value for first-year players is determined by their draft slot. One point of negotiation, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, appears to be the time it takes for a rookie to receive guaranteed money like signing bonuses. On this note, New England’s new passer will receive all $23.47MM of his signing bonus within 14 days of signing the deal, a huge, timely payout for the North Carolina-product.

Giants Add Incentives To WR Darius Slayton’s Contract

Darius Slayton‘s return to Giants practice looks to have ended a brief contract squabble. While the team’s top wide receiver during the Daniel Jones era has not secured an extension, the Giants did make a move that led to his return to practice.

The team added incentives to Slayton’s contract, with the wideout confirming (via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy) that helped lead him to show for voluntary workouts. No additional guarantees come with these incentives, per SNY’s Connor Hughes, but the prospect of additional cash was enough to bring the sixth-year wideout to OTAs.

More specifically, the Giants added $650K in incentives to Slayton’s contract, ESPN.com’s Field Yates tweets. The team previously included $1.5MM in incentives for Slayton in 2024; that number is now at $2.15MM. The Giants have Slayton going into the second season of a two-year, $12MM deal.

The additional incentives mark an interesting step for the parties, seeing as this Giants regime forced Slayton into a pay cut on his rookie deal less than two years ago. But Slayton and this Joe Schoen-led front office had been in talks about a resolution for a few weeks now.

Drafted during the Dave Gettleman GM years, Slayton has helped the Giants after the team made some mistakes on the receiver front. The Golden Tate signing underwhelmed in 2019, and the 2021 offseason — which featured a disastrous Kenny Golladay contract and a Kadarius Toney first-round misfire — set the team back at the position. Amid the missteps around him, Slayton has led the Giants in receiving in four of the past five seasons. Though, he has never topped 800 yards in a single campaign.

While the Giants made an interesting offer to the Patriots in hopes of adding an eventual Jones replacement (Drake Maye), they instead used the No. 6 overall pick to acquire a pass catcher (Malik Nabers) poised to supplant Slayton as the team’s top wideout. Slayton now resides as a Gettleman-era investment — albeit one Schoen re-signed in 2023 — in a receiver cadre otherwise flooded with Schoen pickups. The team has 2023 third-rounder Jalin Hyatt and 2022 second-rounder Wan’Dale Robinson in the fold, joining other players acquired under Schoen — Allen Robinson and ex-Schoen/Brian Daboll Bills pieces Isaiah Hodgins and Isaiah McKenzie.

This bevy of options, Slayton’s arrival under Gettleman and his contract-year status could conceivably make him a trade chip — depending on how Hyatt and Robinson continue to develop — before this year’s November deadline. The Giants, however, have continued to back Jones and appear more likely than not to see Darren Waller retire. Having a proven wideout option to help a quarterback who has never exactly been blessed with reliable receiving casts makes sense. For the time being, Slayton is moving forward with the team that drafted him five years ago.

Giants WR Darius Slayton Attends OTAs

While the Giants and Darius Slayton have yet to resolve the receiver’s salary concerns, it sounds like the player was at practice today. As Dan Duggan of The Athletic observes, Slayton was in attendance at Giants OTAs.

[RELATED: Trade Candidate: Darius Slayton]

Slayton was absent during the early portions of organized team activities as he pursues a new contract. The wideout re-signed with the Giants last offseason on a two-year, $12MM pact. He’s already earned a $2.6MM roster bonus this year, and he’s attached to a base salary of $2.5MM for the 2024 season.

GM Joe Schoen previously expressed optimism that the two sides would come to a resolution, and Slayton hinted that his camp was having conversations with the organization. However, since news first broke of Slayton’s contract pursuit, the Giants have only made it easier on themselves to move on from their top wide receiver. The team used the sixth-overall pick on LSU’s Malik Nabers, although Schoen did say the selection wouldn’t impact the front office’s handling of the Slayton situation.

While Slayton is apparently back at practice, his future in New York will continue to be murky until he signs an extension. The receiver has already been mentioned as a trade candidate, and even though the Giants couldn’t command a significant return for the veteran, they still might see some incentive in moving off his $8.15MM cap hit for 2024.

The former fifth-round pick has transformed into New York’s top receiver in recent years. Despite an inconsistent offensive role, the 27-year-old has still topped 700 receiving yards in four of his five NFL seasons, including a 2023 campaign where he finished with a career-high 770 receiving yards. While he’s sat atop the depth chart in recent years, Slayton would never be confused with a true No. 1 receiver, but the player could still justify a pay raise as a No. 2 wideout.

Trade Candidate: Darius Slayton

The Giants offense has the potential to look extremely different in 2024 than they did in 2023. The starkest change obviously came with star running back Saquon Barkley heading to division-rival Philadelphia. The departures also included those of backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor and backup running back Matt Breida, and there’s a chance that the team is not nearly done seeing players walk out the door.

One possible additional departure could be veteran tight end Darren Waller. After injuries limited him in each of the past three years, Waller has been seriously contemplating retirement. While the team was hoping for an update by the draft, that deadline came and went with no decision. The most recent report claims that Waller will inform the team of his intentions by the time the Giants dismiss players for the summer break.

The other potential departure is a bit less cut-and-dried. The more mercurial situation is that of the contract of veteran wide receiver Darius Slayton. The 27-year-old wideout is heading into his sixth year of NFL play and the second year of the two-year, $12MM contract he signed last year to remain in New York. With another contract-year on the horizon, Slayton has been playing hardball in his attempts to attain his third NFL deal.

In April, Slayton made it clear that he was staying away from the first phase of offseason workouts for the Giants, taking a note out of Courtland Sutton‘s book in Denver. That strategy can only work for so long, though, as missing any of the team’s mandatory minicamp in June will result in fines. Giants general manager Joe Schoen denied at that time that the team was engaging in any extension conversations, but Slayton claimed that his agent, Michael Perrett, was in negotiations with Schoen following the draft.

Slayton has excelled in his role after being drafted in the fifth-round out of Auburn in 2019. He exploded onto the scene as a rookie, leading the team in receiving yards (740) and touchdown receptions (8). Since then, Slayton has led the Giants in receiving yards while surpassing 700 yards in every season except for one injury-limiting 2021 campaign. While impressive as a rookie, his inability to improve on those numbers has been limiting to New York’s offensive potential.

While leading the team is certainly an accomplishment, it may also be more a mark on the talent of the team’s receivers. He’s hardly ever the most-targeted player on the team and has twice been targeted fewer times than a running back or tight end. He’s put up impressive numbers for a fifth-round pick catching balls off the arm of Daniel Jones, but he hasn’t nearly put up solid, WR1 numbers.

The results of the draft may play a key role in Slayton’s future, as well. The Giants utilized their No. 6 overall draft pick on LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers, who many believe has the potential to be a true No. 1 wideout. Nabers also has the potential to add to a youth movement that could make Slayton superfluous. Last year saw second-year receiver Wan’Dale Robinson start to break out, and rookie third-round pick Jalin Hyatt began earning some starting snaps in the back half of the season. The two could pair up with Nabers to form a receiving corps that doesn’t need to depend on Slayton to lead the team anymore.

These three factors — Slayton’s hold out strategy, his limited top-end production, and the potential youth movement at receiver — could push the veteran out of New York altogether. The Giants have yet to show that extending Slayton is a priority, and continuing to add young talent to the position room shows that he is not likely to become one.

There are plenty of teams who could use a receiver who could be a strong WR2. As we pointed out in our profile on Titans wideout Treylon Burks earlier this weekend, the Bills and Chargers are paramount on that list after each team watched top receivers (Stefon DiggsGabriel Davis and Keenan AllenMike Williams, respectively) depart in some fashion. The Steelers, Jets, and Ravens all have some question marks on the roster at those positions, as well, but each team would likely be wary of giving away too much for Slayton.

That is another factor for whether or not Slayton finds himself on the trading block. He may not bring in a massive return for New York. Still, even for only a late-round pick or two, shipping Slayton off may be the cleanest way out of overpaying Slayton as a subpar WR1. The team’s top receiver since his arrival in 2019 is set to represent a $8.15MM cap hit in 2024. Trading him away could result in $6.4MM of cap savings.

Giants, WR Darius Slayton Discussing Contract Resolution

Darius Slayton is away from the Giants’ offseason program as he angles for a new contract. He was in attendance at the annual Gridiron Gala in New York, though, and while there he provided an update on where things stand with he and the team.

“Right now, my agent [Michael Perrett] and [general manager] Joe [Schoen], they’re in negotiations. They’re talking,” Slayton said (via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan). “Hopefully we’ll come to a resolution here soon.”

Slayton re-signed with the Giants last offseason on a two-year, $12MM deal. A $2.6MM roster bonus has already been paid out, and the 27-year-old is due a base salary of $2.5MM for the 2024 campaign. An adjustment to the deal or an extension could increase Slayton’s security beyond the coming season, and the latter move would likely lower his 2024 cap hit ($8.15MM).

Schoen said prior to the draft that no talks with Slayton’s camp were ongoing, so this update marks a notable departure from that stance. The Giants used their top draft pick on a wideout (LSU’s Malik Nabers), a move which has the potential to provide the team with a true No. 1 at the position. Schoen noted, however, that Nabers’ addition will have no impact on New York’s intentions with respect to Slayton.

The latter is “confident” a resolution will arrive before training camp, and it will be interesting to see if negotiations produce an agreement in the coming days or weeks. Slayton recorded a team-leading 770 yards and four touchdowns on 50 receptions in 2023, with his catch total matching his career high. Expectations will be elevated for the Giants’ passing game this season regardless of who is under center, and Nabers’ presence could lower Slayton’s role on offense. Still, he figures to be a key figure for New York moving forward, and a new deal would add clarity to his future.

Giants’ Darius Slayton Staying Away From Workouts, Seeking New Deal

APRIL 18: As could be expected, no Giants-Slayton extension talks have taken place. Although understanding the wide receiver’s pursuit, GM Joe Schoen confirmed (via Raanan) nothing is brewing on this front as the draft nears.

APRIL 17: Darius Slayton went from needing to take a pay cut on his rookie contract to leading a playoff team in receiving. The former fifth-round pick repeated that feat last year. Slayton is no stranger to being Daniel Jones‘ top target; he has led the Giants in receiving in four of his five NFL seasons.

Attached to a two-year, $12MM deal that calls for a $2.5MM 2024 base salary, Slayton is staying away from the first phase of Giants offseason workouts. The sixth-year wideout is seeking a new contract, ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan reports.

This comes shortly after it became known Courtland Sutton, who effectively leapfrogged Jerry Jeudy to become the Broncos’ No. 1 target once again last season, was staying away in hopes of a better deal. Neither receiver can be fined for being absent from offseason workouts until the teams’ respective June minicamps. Unlike Sutton, Slayton is signed for only one more season; he is due for free agency once again in 2025.

Slayton, 27, responded to the Giants’ late-summer pay cut by leading the 2022 team in receiving by more than 150 yards. With the Giants missing badly on wide receiver investments Kenny Golladay (free agency) and Kadarius Toney (Round 1) in 2021, Slayton became vital for Brian Daboll‘s first roster. The Giants lost Sterling Shepard and Wan’Dale Robinson to season-ending injuries that year, increasing their reliance on Slayton, who went from being buried on the depth chart to accumulating 724 yards to boost the ’22 team to the divisional round.

The Giants circled back to Slayton in free agency, giving him that $12MM deal to go with a Shepard re-signing and a Parris Campbell addition. The latter two wideouts made little impact last season, and Slayton continued to be Big Blue’s top receiver. Even with Darren Waller acquired, Slayton led last year’s team (770 yards) by nearly 200. In his prime earning period, Slayton will make an early attempt to do better ahead of Year 6.

Like Sutton, Slayton has been consistently in the 700-yard range. Slayton has four 700-plus-yard seasons but no 1,000-yard years. Similarly to Sutton, Slayton has not enjoyed great circumstances. Jones’ $40MM-per-year contract notwithstanding, he has not given the Giants a strong option at quarterback. Issues along the offensive line have hurt the team, but Jones has just one QBR season in the top 16 and has cleared 15 TD passes in one of his five campaigns. Slayton leading the team with his run of 700-yard years is emblematic of the Giants’ aerial struggles. The Giants have not boasted a 1,000-yard receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2018.

The Giants, of course, do not have to adjust Slayton’s contract. And the 6-foot-1 target’s place in the Giants’ receiver hierarchy may soon change, should the team address its receiver need by using the No. 6 overall pick on one of this draft’s top options. An offense featuring Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze would shift Slayton to the WR2 role. Unless this Giants regime has come around on Slayton — after reducing his pay from 2.54MM to $985K two years ago — the Dave Gettleman-era draftee may need to prove it again ahead of free agency in 2025. Harrison, Nabers and Odunze each visited the Giants in March.

If the Giants draft one of the top three receivers, Slayton would undoubtedly see his role change. The team used a third-round pick on outside option Jalin Hyatt, and Robinson remains under contract for slot work. Unlike Jones, Slayton would stand to benefit from the Giants using the No. 6 pick to trade up for a quarterback while tabling their receiver need to Day 2.

WR Notes: Hopkins, Cardinals, Chiefs, Ridley, Browns, Slayton, Texans, Dolphins

The Brandin Cooks trade domino dropped Sunday morning, leaving DeAndre Hopkins as the only clear-cut impact receiver trade chip available. The Cardinals continue to shop the 11th-year veteran, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport notes talks are ramping up (Twitter link). Hopkins is amenable to adjusting his contract to facilitate a deal, and Rapoport adds an adjusted contract is likely. As is, Hopkins’ through-2024 contract calls for a $19.45MM base salary this season. That will likely be untenable to interested teams.

As far as interested parties go, the Chiefs are viewed as a team angling to acquire a veteran. Whether it is Hopkins or Odell Beckham Jr., veteran NFL reporter Mike Jurecki adds (on Twitter) Kansas City is on the market for an addition. With JuJu Smith-Schuster signing with the Patriots, it is unsurprising the defending champions are interested in upgrading. Mecole Hardman remains a free agent, and while the Chiefs were expected to move on from the speedster, his price range may have dropped considering his extended stay in free agency. Patrick Mahomesrestructure created $9.6MM in cap space for the Chiefs, though they sit at just more than $9MM as of Tuesday.

Staying on the Hopkins front, here is the latest from the receiver scene:

  • The Browns are not believed to be interested in reuniting Hopkins with Deshaun Watson, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports tweets. Cleveland has a big contract at receiver (Amari Cooper‘s) already, though the team could benefit from a veteran presence alongside its No. 1 target. The Browns did host Marquise Goodwin on a visit that has spanned from Monday to today, Anderson adds (on Twitter). Goodwin spent last season with the Seahawks, catching 27 passes for 387 yards and four touchdowns. The former Olympic long jumper is going into his age-33 season.
  • Darius Slayton is back with the Giants, re-signing on a two-year deal worth $12MM. That contract includes $4.9MM guaranteed, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan tweets. This can be treated more like a one-year deal; the Giants can save $6MM by cutting Slayton in 2024. That said, Slayton said (via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy) he received other offers in free agency. The Giants, despite burying him on their initial 2022 depth chart and cutting his pay, reached out early and will have the former fifth-round pick back in the fold. The team’s improvement last season helped convince Slayton to stay.
  • A year after he signed for the exact terms Slayton reached (with the Jets), Braxton Berrios is now in Miami. The ex-Hurricanes receiver agreed to terms with the Dolphins on what KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson notes is a one-year, $3.5MM pact (Twitter link). Berrios will receive $3MM guaranteed, giving him a good chance of being part of the Dolphins’ 53-man roster. The Dolphins still have Cedrick Wilson and brought back River Cracraft and Freddie Swain last week.
  • Noah Brown‘s one-year Texans deal is worth $2.6MM, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The longtime Cowboys wideout received $2.25MM guaranteed and can add an additional $500K through incentives.
  • Addressing his season-long gambling suspension recently, Calvin Ridley said he deposited $1,500 into an unspecified betting app and, after making approximately $200 worth of NBA bets, he included the Falcons in a parlay. Denying he had inside information, Ridley said (via a piece on The Players’ Tribune) he had been away from the Falcons for a month, was not talking to anyone on the team and made the bet to root for his teammates. Regarding Ridley’s midseason Falcons exit in 2021, the former first-round pick said he was dealing with depression and anxiety. Ridley said he played most of the 2020 season (a career-high 1,374-yard slate) on a broken foot, but he was not informed of the break until June 2021. He underwent surgery, which was described as a minor procedure, but said he was not close to 100% by Week 1. This and Ridley’s house being robbed on that Week 1 Sunday intensified his anxiety. The NFL reinstated Ridley, now with the Jaguars, earlier this month.

Giants To Re-Sign WR Darius Slayton

The Giants have a few new members of their pass-catching corps, but a familiar face will remain as well moving forward. New York has agreed to terms on a new deal with wideout Darius Slayton, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). ESPN’s Jordan Raanan tweets that it is a two-year contract. In an update, Garafolo notes that the base value of the pact is $12MM, while incentives could push it to $16.5MM (Twitter link).

The 26-year-old’s preference was to remain in the Big Apple, and now he will be able to do so. A fifth-rounder in 2019, Slayton had a consistent start to his career with yardage totals of 740 and 751. His eight touchdowns scored as a rookie has been a mark he has been unable to match since, however, and the 2021 season left his future in a very different place than many may have expected.

Slayton put up only 339 yards in 15 games that year, and he was required to take a considerable pay cut this past offseason to ensure his spot on the Giants’ roster. With only one year remaining on his rookie contract, his production in 2022 was thus critically important for both team and player in this situation. He responded with a bounce-back season which made him eligible for a noteworthy new deal with the Giants or another team.

The Auburn product posted a 46-724-2 statline this past season, giving him reception and yardage totals almost identical to his first two campaigns. His 15.7 yards per catch average was a new career-high, though, and confirmed his status as one of the top deep threats in this year’s free agent WR class.

The Giants have traded for tight end Darren Waller and agreed to terms on a deal with free agent wideout Parris Campbell. Those additions figure to give the team’s passing offense more upside for 2023, a year in which all eyes will be on the recently extended Daniel Jones and his ability to produce with an upgraded supporting cast around him. Slayton will remain a member of that group, having secured the opportunity to extend his stay in New York.