How much cap space will Darren Waller's retirement free up for New York Giants? TE set to hand franchise major financial reprieve

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants
How much cap space will Darren Waller's retirement free up for New York Giants? TE set to hand franchise major financial reprieve

Darren Waller is expected to retire soon. The New York Giants tight end has had a tumultuous career in which he has battled addiction and injury, and he appears ready to hang up his cleats before the start of the 2024 regular season. If he does, he would give the Giants a good bit of extra cap space to work with.

According to Spotrac, Waller's retirement would incur a dead cap hit of $2.45 million in 2024 and then jump to $5.91 in 2025. However, it would free up $11.625 million in cap space right now.

While that money isn't as useful now when the biggest free agents signed months ago, it will still help the Giants out. They drafted top wide receiver Malik Nabers, but Waller's exit leaves a void at tight end. The money could be used to find another weapon for Daniel Jones.

Darren Waller is expected to retire
Darren Waller is expected to retire

Waller came over on what was the highest tight end contract ever at the time. His three-year, $51 million deal was the highest before Travis Kelce was extended at a slightly higher AAV. Waller didn't make it but through one year of that contract.


Darren Waller's retirement is imminent

While the only announcement Darren Waller has officially made is that of a divorce from Kelsey Plum (and an accompanying music video), the expectation around the NFL is that his time as a player has come to an end.

ESPN reporter Jordan Ranaan reported:

“Darren Waller is expected to make a decision by next week’s minicamp on his playing future and people in and around the team expect he’s going to retire, multiple sources told Adam Schefter and me. Would be a pleasant surprise if he decided otherwise.”

This is expected to be confirmed sooner rather than later. Waller has had a tough go with injuries across most of his career, but especially the last couple of years. His final year with the Las Vegas Raiders was marred by injury, and he couldn't stay on the field for his first season with the Giants either.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann
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