Darren Waller Plans to Retire from NFL at Age 31; Played for Giants, Raiders, Ravens

Darren Waller Plans to Retire from NFL at Age 31; Played for Giants, Raiders, Ravens
Doric SamJune 9, 2024

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 07: Darren Waller #12 of the New York Giants runs out of the tunnel prior to an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on January 7, 2024 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Cooper Neill/Getty Images

After contemplating retirement this offseason, New York Giants veteran tight end Darren Waller has officially called it quits.

Waller announced his retirement in a YouTube video on Sunday (around the 8:30 mark):

Waller also detailed a scary situation he went through last year:

Charlotte Carroll @charlottecrrll

Darren Waller lengthily described a very scary health event that occurred in November. Briefed it here but watch the full video below.

“I don’t know how long the time was. It felt like forever. And I’m like, ‘Damn, I’m just dying on this couch and nobody knows.'” https://t.co/XePUw48Scr pic.twitter.com/w7oPVJob7G

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport had previously reported Waller had informed the Giants on Sunday that he planned to retire at age 31.

“We have great respect for Darren as a person and player,” the Giants said in a statement, via Jori Epstein of Yahoo Sports. “We wish him nothing but the best.”

Rapoport added the Giants will gain $11.6 million in cap space after the transaction.

ESPN’s Jordan Raanan previously reported that Waller was expected to make a decision on his future by the start of mandatory minicamp, and many already believed he was leaning toward retirement, so his decision doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

Waller made indications throughout the offseason that he was ready to call it a career. He told The Athletic’s Dan Duggan in April that he was “evaluating my overall commitment level” to football. He also went through a public divorce from Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum after being married for a year, and he began putting more focus into his music career.

The 31-year-old has also endured a recent run of trying years. He was limited to 12 games last season in his first year in New York after being traded from the Las Vegas Raiders, his third straight year missing at least five games. He posted 52 catches for 552 yards and one touchdown in 2023.

The Giants were operating under the assumption that Waller wouldn’t be back throughout most of the offseason, so the team added veterans Jack Stoll and Chris Manhertz and 2024 fourth-round pick Theo Johnson to a tight ends room that includes returnees Daniel Bellinger, Lawrence Cager and Tyree Jackson.

Waller—who was a sixth-round pick for the Baltimore Ravens in the 2015 draft—ends his career with 350 career receptions for 4,124 yards and 20 touchdowns. He earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2020.

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