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Former Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller retires from NFL at 31 after 1 season with Giants

June 9th, 2024

Former Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller has retired from the NFL at 31 years old after a single season with the New York Giants.

Waller informed the Giants of his decision prior to the start of their minicamp, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports. The Giants confirmed his retirement in a statement Sunday afternoon.

“We have great respect for Darren as a person and player,” the statement reads. “We wish him nothing but the best.”

New York’s mandatory minicamp starts Tuesday. The Giants traded a third-round draft pick to acquire Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders prior to last season.

Waller, an eight-season NFL veteran, had reportedly been contemplating his retirement throughout the offseason. His decision came as no surprise to the Giants, who selected Penn State tight end Theo Johnson in the fourth round of April’s NFL Draft. The Giants surely expected more than a season of his services when they traded for him in 2023.

Darren Waller played a single season with the Giants after the acquired him from the Raiders with a third-round pick. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Darren Waller played a single season with the Giants after they acquired him from the Raiders with a third-round draft pick. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Waller addressed his status on social media on June 3 amid reports that he had been contemplating retirement. He said then that he had yet to make a decision.

Waller started 12 games for the Giants in 2023, tallying 52 catches for 522 yards and a touchdown. He previously played six seasons with Raiders and made the Pro Bowl after the 2020 season. He played his first two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens starting in 2015.

It’s unclear what prompted Waller to retire. He remained a productive NFL starter and would have projected atop the Giants’ depth chart had he remained with the team. He released a music video in May depicting his relationship and marital breakup with WNBA All-Star Kelsey Plum. The couple announced their divorce earlier in May after a year of marriage. It’s not clear if Waller intends to pursue music further.

With Waller gone, third-year tight end Daniel Bellinger projects as New York’s No. 1 tight end next season. Bellinger started 13 games last season, tallying 25 catches for 255 yards. Johnson and former Philadelphia Eagles starter Jack Stoll could also compete for starting time.

Per Spotrac, Waller’s retirement frees up $11.6 million in salary-cap space for the upcoming season. He’ll account for dead cap hits of $2.45 million in 2024 and $4.9 million in 2025.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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