Should Giants bring back WR Darius Slayton?
Can the New York Giants put Darius Slayton’s drops behind them and re-sign him in free agency next week?
That’s a good question. The Giants just inked quarterback Daniel Jones to a four-year contract and through their four years together have developed a solid rapport.
Slayton’s career began with a bang, leading the team with eight touchdowns as a rookie in 2019, and showing a lot of synergy with fellow rookie Jones.
But over the next three seasons, he has not taken that next step and dropped passes and inconsistency have dogged him. Many fans remember Slayton’s key drop in the Wild Card game against Minnesota last season. It was just the latest in a frustratingly long line of drops by Slayton.
The fact that he had four receptions for 88 yards in the game were washed over by the drop but the Giants’ victory pushed his issues to the back burner.
As free agency descends upon us, Slayton’s agent sent out a reminder that his client is still a top player that is worthy of many teams’ attention.
Darius Slayton (@Young_Slay2) stands alone!
Darius is the ONLY ‘23 free agent WR under 30 who ranks inside the Top 5 in all major receiving categories from 2019-2022.
Top ranked and result driven! @NFL @Giants @PrioritySports #NFLFreeAgency pic.twitter.com/s4GJTNn0yX
— Michael Perrett (@PerrettM) March 8, 2023
In the Giants’ year-end review, they reminded us of how valuable Slayton was once he was re-inserted into the lineup.
After entering the starting lineup in Week 6 of the 2022 season, WR Darius Slayton was one of the Giants’ top receivers. Slayton’s regular-season totals include 46 receptions for a team-high 724 yards (15.7 avg.) and two touchdowns. Thirty of his receptions (65.2 pct.) resulted in a first down, while eight went for 25 or more yards. Among wide receivers in the NFC with at least 45 receptions, Slayton’s 65.2 first down percentage ranked ninth.
The drops will surely give teams some apprehension but that is part of the game and certainly correctible. Slayton had five drops last year but did not lead the Giants in that category. Saquon Barkley did (6).
And he was far from the league lead of seven, which belonged to the Cincinnati Bengals’ All-World wideout Ja’Marr Chase, Buffalo’s Gabe Davis, and Jacksonville’s Zay Jones.
Other top names who had as many — or more — drops than Slayton last year: Travis Kelce, Austin Ekeler, Jaylen Waddle, Tee Higgins, Amari Cooper, Stefan Diggs, Mike Evans, D.K. Metcalf, and Tyreek Hill.
If the Giants have a short memory, they could be considering bringing Slayton back. We’ll know for sure come next week.
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