Giants' Darren Waller unsure of NFL future as 31-year-old TE contemplates retirement: "Matter of respecting the process"

Carolina Panthers v New York Giants
Will Darren Waller retire in 2024?

Darren Waller may not be playing football in 2024, or ever again. The New York Giants tight end is entering the second year of his current contract, which he signed in 2022 when he was still a Las Vegas Raider. But as it turns out, he has yet to commit to it despite being in shape. Speaking to Forbes' DJ Siddiqi, he said:

"It's just a matter of respecting the process. There's so much that goes into the process of going from April through February of an NFL season, the commitment that it requires. I'm a guy who's evolving, who's growing, who's played a lot of football and been through a lot.
"I'm at the point now where I'm like, 'OK, how much am I willing to give to the process?' If it's not 100%, it's a disservice to the teammates and the organization. ...It's tough to make one or the other out of emotion."

This is not Waller's first time being open to retiring. Last month, he told The Athletic:

"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."

Darren Waller discusses being traded from Raiders

Speaking of the Las Vegas Raiders, Darren Waller's redemption tour began there. Drafted 204th overall in 2015 out of Georgia Tech by the Baltimore Ravens, he initially struggled to break out of their wide receiver rotation before being moved to tight end.

However, substance policy violations seemed to have permanently derailed his career, until the Raiders, then based in Oakland, claimed him off the practice squad.

Waller would break out with the Silver-and-Black from 2019 onwards, breaching 1,000 yards twice consecutively and leading all tight ends in receptions in 2020-21 en route to a Pro Bowl appearance. He failed to repeat those milestones in 2021-22; however, he did help the Raiders clinch their first postseason appearance since leaving the Bay Area.

The reward was a three-year deal. $51 million extension that made him the highest-paid player at his position. However, he and the team struggled and he was shipped off to the New York Giants during the offseason.

In that same interview, Waller claimed that while he did expect to be traded, the Giants were the last team he had in mind:

“Being traded itself was not a surprise. Going to the Giants was a surprise. I had heard earlier in the season a couple of different times that I was being shopped around from my agent,” he said. “When I was traded, it wasn’t the trade itself, it was more so to the team. I had heard the Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins and some other teams.”

He would finish his first season in East Rutherford with 52 catches for 552 yards and one touchdown.

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now