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Darren Waller Retires: Giants Impact

Darren Waller

Darren Waller Retires

After much speculation, it’s finally official: Darren Waller will retire from the NFL after one season with the New York Giants. The trade for Waller last offseason appeared to be a great move for a Giants team looking for more offensive firepower. He was a Pro-Bowl-caliber talent and was brought in to immediately step in as the No. 1 target for Daniel Jones. Waller certainly came with his fair share of injury concerns but his potential was enough to make the move worth it. However, Waller, who was once considered the next great tight end after back-to-back 1100+ yard seasons in 2019 and 2020, has seen his production decline over the last few years. Waller managed just 52 receptions for 552 yards in his sole season with the Giants and has only scored six times over the last three seasons.

The retirement should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention. There were reports toward the end of last season that Waller was contemplating retirement. This became clearer when the Giants drafted Penn State TE Theo Johnson in the fourth round of this year’s draft and signed two others (Chris Manhertz and Jack Stoll) in free agency. Still, for a roster that was already one of the worst and most shallow in the league, there is not much in the way of proven producers heading into 2024. This could be an issue when it comes to their 2024 success, but how much will this news impact their season?

On the surface, it’s hard to imagine a player retiring who couldn’t even muster 600 yards or more than one touchdown having too much of an impact on the Giants’ season. Here are where the odds sit at the time of this writing.

  • Odds to Make the Playoffs: +410
  • Odds to Win the NFC East: +1000
  • Odds to Win the Super Bowl: +10000

On top of these odds, the over/under for their win total sits at 6.5.

See all NFL Odds Here

I don’t imagine the loss of Waller has much to do with these odds. However, without him, the Giants are stuck with names like Malik Nabers, Darius Slayton, Wan’Dale Robinson, Jalin Hyatt, Allen Robinson, and Isaiah McKenzie along with a group of tight-ends led by Daniel Bellinger and Theo Johnson. The best name on that list, from a talent standpoint, is Nabers, who should be relied on early and often, but he’s a rookie and will undoubtedly have some growing pains along the way. Plus, Daniel Jones is still going to be under center and he hasn’t exactly been the epitome of consistency. So it makes sense that there are low expectations in a division that includes the Eagles and Cowboys. I just don’t see enough offensive firepower on this team for them to hit the over on that 6.5 win total, and without doing so they won’t make the playoffs. That was always to be expected, but with Darren Waller retiring and losing star RB Saquon Barkley to their division rivals, things have gone from bad to worse. They did replace Barkley with a capable running back in Devin Singletary, but he’s never been a real difference-maker at the position. He has never had a 1000-yard rushing season and has never scored more than seven rushing touchdowns in a season. He does bring value in the passing game, which the Giants will need to utilize to be successful, but in the end, we’re likely to observe another mediocre season with a low win total and no playoffs.

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