Giants expect Darren Waller to retire, with decision possible by next week: report

The Giants have been waiting on tight end Darren Waller to make a decision about his playing future, and it sounds like the team is expecting him to hang up his cleats and call it a career.

According to ESPN's Jordan Raanan, Waller is expected to make his decision by the start of next week's minicamp, and "people in and around the team expect he's going to retire."

Raanan notes that it would be "a pleasant surprise" if Waller were to keep playing.

Waller told The Athletic in late March that he was still undecided on his playing future, and Giants GM Joe Schoen has said publicly that the team has not placed any kind of deadline on when they wanted the veteran tight end to make a decision.

"I’m undecided at the moment," Waller told The Athletic in March. "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 traded for Waller last offseason, sending a third-round pick in the 2023 draft to the Las Vegas Raiders. That was the same pick that the Giants acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Kadarius Toney.

Waller has three years remaining on the extension he signed with the Raiders in 2022, with a cap hit of $14.08 million this coming season, $15.4 million in 2025, and $17.4 million in 2026.

Waller had a decent first season for the Giants, catching 52 passes for 552 yards, but he scored just one touchdown and was once again limited by injuries -- something that has plagued him throughout his career.

If Waller does indeed retire, he'd finish his career with 4,124 yards and 20 touchdowns over eight seasons.

Losing Waller would also be a hit to the Giants' depth chart, as it would leave them with Daniel Bellinger, Theo Johnson (drafted in the fourth round this year) and the recently signed Jack Stoll as their top tight end options. Tyree Jackson, Lawrence Cager, and Chris Manhertz are also on the roster heading into minicamp.