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Giants still waiting for veteran TE Waller to make decision on playing in 2024

Darren Waller New York Giants Darren Waller - The Canadian Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants are waiting patiently for veteran tight end Darren Waller to decide whether he wants to play this season.

Coach Brian Daboll said Thursday he has communicated with the 31-year-old Waller throughout the offseason, mostly by text messages. He added the team is not pushing Waller for a decision.

“When he makes his decision, he makes his decision,” Daboll said.

Waller, who was acquired in an offseason trade with Las Vegas before last year, is due to make $10.5 million in 2024 and he would count $14.1 million against the salary cap. If he retired or was cut, the Giants would save $11.6 million in cap money and take a $2.5 million hit in dead money.

Much was expected of Waller last season but he did not deliver for a team that went 6-11 and missed the playoffs a year after Daboll led them to their first postseason berth since 2016.

The oft-injured Waller was limited to 12 games and had 52 catches for 552 yards and a touchdown. His longest play was 29 yards. The injury that cost him five games was a hamstring, an issue that also reduced his play in 2021 and '22.

New York drafted Penn State tight end Theo Johnson in the fourth round in the recent draft in case Waller did not come back. Daniel Bellinger and Lawrence Cager return from last season. New York also signed veteran Chris Manhertz in free agency.

Waller has not attended the Giants offseason workouts.

On the field Thursday, wide receiver and first-round draft pick Malik Nabers put on a show in the workout, making about five very good catches.

If the LSU product plays like that in the regular season, opponents are going to have to double the No. 6 overall pick.

“It makes everything easy,” second-year receiver Jalin Hyatt said. “Who are you going to double, you know what I mean? You got Leek (Malik) on one side, you got me on the other, you’ve got Wan’Dale (Robinson), you’ve got Slay (Darius Slayton). That’s how we’re looking at it. We’re ready to go.”