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New York Giants Darren Waller Expected to Retire

One of the biggest questions for the New York Giants is what will happen to tight end Darren Waller? Waller has been contemplating retiring since the end of last season and hasn’t attended any voluntary camps this spring. According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN, he is expected to make a decision by next week’s mandatory minicamp, and the decision appears to be that he’ll be retiring.

So why would Waller retire?

Apparently, he’s been questioning his commitment to the game and has struggled with staying healthy over the last couple of years, having had hamstring injuries.

“I’m undecided at the moment," Waller told The Athletic in March. "It’s really the idea of signing up for another journey. It’s tough, it’s long, it requires a lot. And if you’re not fully bought into every single thing of the process, it’s going to be tough. I feel like, at the end of the day, you’re doing guys a disservice if you’re not all the way in. So those are the kinds of things I’m taking into account."

The Giants acquired Waller in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders last offseason. In his first season with the Giants, he had 52 catches for 552 yards and one touchdown. He has 350 catches for 4,124 yards and 20 touchdowns in his career. Waller made the Pro Bowl in 2020.

So how does Waller retiring affect the Giants?

If he’s a post-June 1st cut, then the Giants would save $11.9 million on the cap this year. They currently have $1.6 million available in cap space, the lowest of any team. As for the team itself, I think they will be fine with Waller retiring. They drafted tight end Theo Johnson, who will probably be Walker’s replacement and have signed veteran tight ends Jack Stoll and Chris Manhertz. The Giants also have Daniel Bellinger, Lawrence Cager, and Tyree Jackson at tight end. With that much depth at tight end, the Giants shouldn’t have any issues at tight end.

The Giants have mandatory minicamps starting next week. Waller won’t be expected to attend since it appears that he’s retiring. At minicamps, the Giants will work with Theo Johnson to make sure he’s ready to take over for Waller when the season begins. They can also figure out who Johnson’s backup will be.

When it comes to the season, the Giant's expectations don’t change with Waller retiring. They will still want to make the playoffs and try to win another Super Bowl. After the draft the Giants will have a good shot at making the playoffs, although I don’t think they make it to the Super Bowl. Even with Waller, they would still make the playoffs but not make it to the Super Bowl.

While Waller retiring may suck, the Giants will be just fine without him.

(Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images)

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