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Tight End Darren Waller Makes it Official and Retires

With mandatory minicamp just around the corner, what was expected to happen has finally happened. On Sunday, New York Giants tight end Darren Waller made it official and announced that he is retiring.

It’s no surprise that Waller is retiring since he’s been contemplating retiring all offseason. Waller has been questioning his commitment to the game and has been injury-prone in his career. In his retirement video, Waller talked about a health scare he had in November, during which he couldn’t breathe, was unable to stand up, used the bathroom, and fed himself.

"I come out of that experience and I'm sitting in the hospital, and I go back into my daily life and I'm like, 'Pretty clear, I almost just lost my life, and I don't know if I really feel if I would have died that I would have felt great about how my life was going if I died at that time,” Waller said.

Waller added, “Eternally grateful for the game of football. I wouldn't be able to have this conversation or to think things through or be self-reflective if it wasn't for an opportunity to save my life and go to rehab, which the NFL offered me.They also gave me an opportunity to reestablish myself, to come back into the world and do something productive. Provide an example, be a leader, be a difference-maker in my craft but also in my day-to-day wherever I go."

The Giants said in a statement that they greatly respect Waller and wish him the best.

Waller was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2015. While with the Ravens, he was suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. 2018, he signed with the Las Vegas Raiders after the Ravens released him. The Raiders traded Waller to the Giants in March 2023. In his only season with the Giants, Waller played in 12 games and was the Giants leading receiver before his hamstring injuries, as he had 52 catches for 552 yards and one touchdown. He finishes his career with 350 receptions, 4,124 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns. In 2020, he made the Pro Bowl.

With Walker’s retirement, the Giants have lost two players this offseason as Saquon Barkley signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. While losing Waller isn’t a huge loss for the Giants, they do lose a good player, even though he was injury-prone. Waller could have been another receiving target for Daniel Jones and Malik Nabers. The Giants will get $11.9 million in cap savings this year with Waller retiring. Currently, the Giants have Daniel Bellinger, Lawrence Cager, and Tyree Jackson at tight end, and they have added Jack Stoll and Chris Manhertz and drafted Theo Johnson. Some people might think that Bellinger will be Waller’s replacement. However, I believe that Johnson has a good chance of being Waller’s replacement. No matter who Waller’s replacement is, the Giants will be fine without Waller.

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