Darren Waller Retires: How Much Cap Space Will the Giants Gain?

Giants' Tight End Nears End, Prompting Financial Strategy Shift.

by Faizan Chaudhary
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Darren Waller Retires: How Much Cap Space Will the Giants Gain?
© Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

New York Giants' talented tight end Darren Waller is expected to announce his retirement, symbolizing a critical transition in his oft-injury-riddled and up-and-down career field. The expected decision could come before the Giants hold their 2024 minicamp.

His potential was constantly shaded by his struggles off the field. That recent one with the Giants, on a contract for $51 million over three years—a record, the most ever for a tight end at the time—would be seen as a fresh start.

However, injuries kept him on the sideline for more than a few games with the Giants, who could barely check off one season of Waller's lucrative deal.

Financial Impact Explained

Waller's coming retirement is a bookend, not just on a career of what could have been but also on how it impacts the Giants financially.

According to Spotrac, his retirement would lead to a dead cap hit of $2.45 million in 2024, skyrocketing to $5.91 million in 2025. However, the latter would immediately immediately give the Giants back a $11.625 million cap space.

This financial reprieve comes at a crucial time, but after major free agent signings are essentially over—just one week into the free agent period. It leaves the team on the chalkboard in search of future acquisitions.

The potential exit of Waller leaves a notable gap at the tight end position for the Giants, who recently drafted top wide receiver Malik Nabers. The freed-up funds could serve to bolster the squad, possibly by adding a new offensive weapon to aid quarterback Daniel Jones, as the team looks to rebuild and refocus its offensive strategy.

ESPN reporter Jordan Ranaan shared insights from multiple sources, including Adam Schefter, noting, "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.

It would be a pleasant surprise if he decided otherwise." This expected announcement adds a layer of anticipation and speculation about the Giants' next moves and how they will navigate this transitional period. NowWaller's career seems to be reaching the twilight stage; their legacy is sure to be one of greatness and tenacity yet always marred by squandered potential.

His retirement, perhaps not only from the NFL but also from the sports period, will be a new dawn for him and the Giants.

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