Skip to main content

Giants TE Darren Waller plans to make decision on retirement 'pretty soon' 

Darren Waller continues to contemplate retirement following his first year with the New York Giants.

The 31-year-old tight end told Dan Duggan of The Athletic that he's currently unsure what his future holds.

"I'm undecided at the moment," Waller told Duggan. "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 exchange for a third-round pick. Early word out of training camp was that the veteran looked healthy and was a prime target for Daniel Jones. However, things didn't work out so swimmingly once the season began. Waller battled injury, generating 552 yards and one touchdown in 12 games in 2023.

Waller hasn't played a full season since 2020 -- the last time he hit the 1,000-yard receiving mark.

"(The injury history) is part of the equation," Waller said. "But that's not the driving force behind making the decision. It isn't just frustration from a health standpoint. It's a lot deeper than that."

Waller noted that the Giants haven't put "an ultimatum on me" to make a decision. While he knows the club would like to know whether it has to fill a hole at tight end if he does retire, he's unlikely to decide by the time free agency opens on Wednesday.

"I know the team is getting prepared for a new season, so I'm not trying to have it be this drawn-out thing," Waller said. "I'll be deciding pretty soon, but I haven't made a decision yet."

The veteran added that if he returns it wouldn't be just to "collect an extra check."

The Giants would earn $6.7 million in cap space if Waller retires, with $7.4 million in dead money -- the same figures would apply if New York released the tight end.

If he does walk away, Big Blue would be left with Daniel Bellinger as its top TE and Tyree Jackson as the only other player at the position on the roster. Regardless of what path Waller takes, it's a position the Giants could look to add to later in the draft.

Waller said his decision is truly up in the air at this stage.

"I'm in the middle. It could go either direction," Waller said. "It's just putting everything down and being like, 'What are the real pros and cons of going on this journey again, and what do I really want out of it?' I don't feel like I've arrived at the point where it's like the concrete answer that I can be like, 'All right, that's my truth.'"

Related Content