Wide receiver Darius Slayton had quite a renaissance during the 2022 season. On the verge of being released by the New York Giants, he turned in another strong campaign, setting himself up to cash in as a free agent.
Darius Slayton was on the chopping block during the offseason and preseason as new general manager Joe Schoen was figuring out ways to get his team out of salary cap hell. Not wanting to be released, Darius Slayton agreed to a pay cut to remain on the team.
In the early going, he wasn’t involved much in their game plan. He was inactive in Week 1 before getting on the field for four offensive snaps in Week 2 and 14 in Week 3. In Week 4, he received his first targets of the season, catching one pass for 11 yards. After that, the rest was history.
Darius Slayton had a big game against the Green Bay Packers in London, catching six passes for 79 yards in the upset victory. From that point on, he was a starter for the rest of the season, playing a key role in the team’s passing game.
On the season, Darius Slayton caught 46 passes for 724 yards and two touchdowns. Drops remain a major concern for him, but otherwise, he is a hard worker and a solid top-three option at wide receiver.
In such a weak wide receiver free agent class, there were some concerns that the Giants wouldn’t be able to afford to bring him back. It sounds like that could be the case, as the Atlanta Falcons are reportedly closing in on a deal with him.
Right now, the Falcons are considered the favorites to sign the Auburn product in free agency. According to Cam Marino of StackingTheBoard.com, there is interest in returning to the Giants, but Atlanta is seen as the favorite at this point.
Darius Slayton would be an excellent complement in the Falcons’ offense to burgeoning No. 1 receiver Drake London and tight end Kyle Pitts. With the addition of tight end Jonnu Smith as well, Arthur Smith is getting quite a strong nucleus of skill position players to put around his quarterback, whether it be Desmond Ridder or someone else.
With no deal being completed with the Falcons, there is certainly a chance that the Giants can swoop in with a last-minute offer. We have seen odder things happen in free agency and there seems to be a real interest in continuing the relationship.
If the Giants do lose Darius Slayton, it will create a bit of a void in their passing game. The team did add tight end Darren Waller in a trade, but the wide receiver depth chart remains pretty barren outside of Isaiah Hodgins and the re-signed Sterling Shepard. Wan’Dale Robinson is recovering from a season-ending injury while Marcus Johnson and Richie James Jr. remain free agents and Kenny Golladay was officially released this week as well.