TE Darren Waller reportedly expected to retire ahead of Giants' mandatory minicamp

Darren Waller said during an Instagram Live session on Friday that he was close to coming to a decision on his football future.

According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, the New York Giants tight end is expected to announce his plans this week ahead of mandatory minicamp and it is expected Waller will retire.

The 31-year-old Waller has been contemplating retirement this entire offseason, with premature reports in March stating he was hanging up his cleats after eight NFL seasons. At the time, Waller said he had not “made a decision either way.”

Waller did not attend any of the Giants’ voluntary offseason workouts this spring. The team’s mandatory minicamp is set to take place next week from June 11-13.

The Giants have operated this offseason with the expectation Waller will no longer be in their tight end room. Along with Daniel Bellinger, Lawrence Cager and Tyree Jackson, veterans Jack Stoll and Chris Manhertz were signed and Penn State’s Theo Johnson was selected in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL draft.

Waller missed four games due to injury in 2023 and has been unable to stay healthy on a regular basis since the 2020 season when he was with the Las Vegas Raiders.

In 12 games during his first season with the Giants, Waller caught 52 passes for 552 yards and a touchdown.

The Giants acquired Waller in a March 2023 trade in exchange for a draft pick. His contract runs through the 2026 season after signing a $51 million extension in 2022.

Waller has been in the news of late, but not for football reasons.

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He recently announced his divorce from Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum after one year of marriage. While Plum wrote in a statement “now I see it’s time to go” and promising to “share my story” at some point in the future, Waller responded via song.

Last week, Waller released a music video about his split from Plum for the song “Who Knew (Her Perspective).” In it, Waller appears to re-create scenes of arguing with Plum at a picnic table, pleading with her as she drives away, and bowling with her.

The video ends with an actress playing the role of Plum hugging Waller on the beach and stabbing him in the back. Waller appears to feign death, falling facedown on the sand and failing to stay motionless when the water hits his face.

Should retirement be Waller’s ultimate decision, he will have plenty of time to work on future music projects — one’s, he’s hoping, that go viral for different reasons.

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