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Waller retiring after 1 season with Giants

Mitchell Leff / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Veteran tight end Darren Waller is officially saying goodbye to football.

Waller spent the 2023-24 campaign with the New York Giants - his first with the team - but hasn't attended workouts this offseason and reportedly considered retirement for weeks. The 31-year-old hangs up his cleats with 350 career receptions for 4,124 yards and 20 touchdowns in 86 appearances.

"We have great respect for Darren as a person and player. We wish him nothing but the best," the Giants said in a statement Sunday, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

Waller entered the NFL as a sixth-round pick in 2015 and spent his first three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. He joined the then-Oakland Raiders in November 2018 and established himself as one of the league's top tight ends.

Waller topped 1,000 receiving yards in both 2019 and 2020, setting career highs with 107 catches, 1,196 yards, and nine touchdowns in the latter campaign. Injuries prevented him from replicating that success in his final two years with the Raiders, who traded him to the Giants in exchange for a third-round pick during the 2023 offseason.

Waller failed to make a big impact with New York last year, as he finished the season with 552 yards and one touchdown on 52 catches in 12 games. With Waller's retirement, the Giants gain $11.6 million in salary cap space in 2024 while eating $2.5 million in dead money this year and $4.9 million in 2025, according to Dan Duggan of The Athletic.

New York still has some questions at tight end, as the unproven Daniel Bellinger is projected to enter training camp as the team's No. 1 positional player. Bellinger posted 25 catches, 255 yards, and no touchdowns in 2023. The Giants drafted tight end Theo Johnson in the fourth round this year and also roster Jack Stoll and Lawrence Cager, among others.

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