The Giants releasing this veteran playmaker would be a massive mistake

Joe Schoen can't even think about parting ways with Darius Slayton

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants / Elsa/GettyImages

It has been an interesting two years for Darius Slayton.

After a disappointing 2021 season where he only had 339 yards and two touchdowns, many speculated about Slayton's future with a new regime coming in for the 2022 campaign and beyond. To begin that year, he was brought up in trade rumors, as some even thought he'd be cut after training camp. He even took a paycut to remain with the team.

He was a healthy scratch in Week 1 and played just 18 snaps the next two weeks. After that, everything changed. Slayton ended the season with 724 yards and two touchdowns. However, there were still drop problems that hindered his overall image amongst the fanbase, including a crucial one in the Wild Card Round game against the Vikings that could've lost them the contest.

He refined his technique and worked on catching the ball more confidently over the offseason. His resurgence in 2022 earned him a two-year contract extension. In 2023, he came back and put together a solid season. His play last year should be reason enough why he shouldn't be cut for cap purposes this offseason. Will Joe Schoen bring him back?

Cutting Darius Slayton would be a huge mistake by Joe Schoen

In 2023, Slayton led the Giants in receiving yards once again. He's done so in four out of his five seasons with the team, showing he can remain consistent despite up-and-down quarterback play, coaching decisions and a poor offensive unit overall.

In 2023, he had 50 catches for 770 yards and four touchdowns. Slayton had a career-high season in yards and the most touchdowns in a campaign since his rookie year when he hauled in eight. He also had 15.4 yards per catch, tied for the second most of his career. Slayton was also the recipient of the Giants' longest play of the season, an 80-yard bomb from Tyrod Taylor for a touchdown in Week 17 against the Rams.

That play was the longest catch of Slayton's career, with him proving to be the Giants' best deep threat. Cutting Slayton wouldn't make sense, as the idea has been floated around the fanbase in hypothetical situations to create cap space. While releasing him would save approximately $6 million, they'd be getting rid of one of their lone playmakers for no reason.

It's no secret that the Giants have failed to find a No. 1 wide receiver for years. Slayton isn't at that level, but he's acted as one for a few years now. The Giants are likely going to find their stud wideout either in the draft this offseason or free agency - keeping Slayton in the mix to pair with that potential player is only beneficial for the offense.

Adding someone like Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze to pair with Slayton and then Wan'Dale Robinson in the slot would do wonders. Of course, don't forget about Jalin Hyatt coming in as well. Releasing Slayton would be a huge mistake and one move the Giants shouldn't even consider making, especially with the team's cap space being increased to $255.4 million.