Darren Waller Retires: New York Giants TE Takes to YouTube To Announce His Retirement

After an offseason full of speculation, New York Giants TE Darren Waller officially announced his retirement from the NFL.

For months, no one in the NFL knew what the future held for Darren Waller, including the New York Giants. After retirement rumors surfaced, the will-he-or-won’t-he saga that was the star TE’s future NFL plans became a constant talking point throughout the offseason.

However, Waller took to YouTube on Sunday afternoon to share the news on whether he would suit up in the NFL again.

Darren Waller Announces Retirement From NFL

Many suspected it would be the case, but no one could say for certain. What was once speculated is now confirmed: Waller is stepping away from the NFL and heading into retirement.

Waller took to YouTube in a video that was just shy of 18 minutes long to discuss various topics, including the answer to the burning question many around the NFL had been waiting for.

At around the eight-minute mark of the video, Waller discussed his life and football and officially announced that he would retire from the NFL.

“I’ve made the decision that I will be retiring from the NFL,” Waller stated. “There’s plenty of reasons that go into that.

“I feel like I’ve spent most of my life doing what I should be doing and measuring that in the eyes of what people would expect of me. I’ve been a people pleaser my whole life, somebody that has struggled with self-worth, confidence, feeling valuable, and you feel value in people accepting you because of the way you play a game.”

What’s next for Waller is unclear at this time; he speaks about doing what is right for him, living for himself, and not just for the approval of others. It sounds as if Waller is going to venture into other avenues to express himself, such as his recent pursuit of making music.

It is clear that Waller is looking to find happiness and satisfaction outside of the game of football in whatever is next, and with the rest of his life ahead of him, he looks determined to find it.

Waller’s Career in Review

Few players who play the TE position are as physically gifted as Waller. The one-time Pro Bowler was a freak athlete and someone who provided a mismatch against most men he lined up against.

When Waller was healthy and able to be on the field, few TEs could change a game like he could. However, whether it was injuries or off-the-field issues, Waller never was able to take full advantage of his skill set. As a result, he leaves an NFL career with more “what ifs?” than anything else.

Waller was drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens and spent the first two seasons of his career dealing with consistent off-the-field issues. He was suspended for the first four games in 2016 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

In 2017, he once again violated the same policy, and he was suspended for the entirety of the year as a result.

After being reinstated in 2018, Waller signed with the Oakland Raiders. He had minimal impact that season before exploding on the NFL scene in 2019 when he finished the year with 90 receptions, 1,145 receiving yards, and three touchdowns.

Waller spent five seasons with the Raiders organization before being traded to the Giants ahead of the 2023 season.

The Giants sent a 2023 third-round compensatory pick (No. 100 overall) to the Raiders in exchange for Waller.

MORE: Revisiting the Darren Waller Trade: Who Were the Winners and Losers?

Despite excitement upon his arrival, Waller was never able to deliver the impact the Giants hoped he would due to injury. He scored one touchdown in 11 games in 2023.

Waller finishes his eight-year NFL career with 350 receptions, 4,124 receiving yards, and 20 touchdowns.

How the Giants Move Forward Without Him

While the Giants never officially knew Waller’s plans, they still prepared themselves for this outcome this offseason. While they have third-year tight end Daniel Bellinger under contract and will look toward him to step up into the TE1 role, the Giants also spent a fourth-round selection on Penn State TE Theo Johnson in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Johnson is an intriguing rookie piece that would have factored into the Giants’ offense anyway. With Waller now gone, he will be leaned on a bit earlier than expected.

The Giants certainly are losing a star on their roster, but with the decision now final, they can officially move forward with the roster they have. They’ll look to get the most out of a TE room that will now look to carry an even bigger load than they originally thought.

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