Darius Slayton has been the Giants’ top wide receiver for four of the last five years. He signed a two-year contract before last season.

As the Giants began the voluntary offseason program several weeks ago and now enter Phase 3 with on-field workouts, Slayton elected to hold out and remains a no-show.

He could end up no better than fourth on the depth chart in 2024.

Tight Ties with DJ

Do not get me wrong; I like Darius Slayton as a player.  I believe “Slay” has been underrated and underutilized as a Giants’ weapon over the years.  Darius was drafted by the Giants in 2019 in the 5th round out of Auburn…the same draft as QB Daniel Jones.  Darius developed instant on-field chemistry with Jones and has been Jones’ most ardent defender when Jones comes under fire from the fan base.

There were times Slay had the “dropsies” early in his career, some at critical moments.  But, with the exception of 2021 (when he lost time due to a lingering hamstring problem), Darius has been the picture of consistency when a long list of other wide receivers (Sterling Shepard, Kenny Golladay, Wan’dale Robinson, etc.) go down with injury year after year. 

New Management-New Rules

After the 2021 season, the Giants cleaned house on the front office and coaching staff.  New GM Joe Schoen negotiated hard, and Slayton signed a one-year deal with a deep pay cut to stay with the Giants.  In 2022, Slay had to work his way into the good graces of new Head Coach Brian Daboll just to make the team.  He didn’t play in the first game, but over the next 16 games, Darius led the team in receiving yards and averaged over 15 yards per reception.  His 2022 performance earned him a new 2-year contract.  His 2023 season was more of the same.  

Since Schoen and Daboll took over the team in 2022, the Giants have drafted wide receivers (Wan’dale Robinson in ’22, Jalen Hyatt in ’23, and now Maleek Nabers in ’24) in the top rounds of the draft and signed arguably one of the top receiving tight ends (Darren Waller in ’23) to continue building a high-powered aerial attack.  

With all these new weapons, why would Slayton hold out now?

The front office isn’t giving any indication of honoring Slayton’s holdout with a new contract. In fact, Schoen reiterated in his pre-draft presser that Slayton had just signed a new contract last year. But my guess is Darius wants to recover the pay cut of 2022 and try for a longer deal before the 2024 season plays out.

A real possibility is that Slayton could start the 2024 season as the fourth wide receiver on the depth chart behind Nabers, Hyatt, and Robinson.  His biggest asset is his steady production in four of the five years so far.  

The NFL has a business side.
For Darius Slayton, this is risky business.


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