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Published Time: 09.06.2024 - 19:06:52 Modified Time: 09.06.2024 - 19:06:52

Waller provided the Giants just over 500 yards and one touchdown before the team was informed of his retirement, a source told ESPN on Sunday. Darren Waller

With the Giants expecting Darren Waller to retire, check out some of the notable statistics from the tight end's career. (1:04)

Waller provided the Giants just over 500 yards and one touchdown before the team was informed of his retirement, a source told ESPN on Sunday.

The Giants traded for Waller to be the Giants' No. 1 receiver. It was the best solution at the time to a difficult situation after the organization had just signed Jones to a four-year, $160 million extension. They needed something in the short term to support their newly paid quarterback, and the high-end wide receiver market wasn't strong.

"You do a deal with Daniel and you see how it was structured, so you try to expedite the process and give him a chance to succeed," Schoen said earlier this year of adding veteran receivers like Waller and Parris Campbell last offseason.

In theory, it made sense. Jones was on another two-year trial period off the best season of his career, and a healthy, revived Waller could help. The Pro Bowl tight end was twice a 1,000-yard receiver, and the Giants needed that to help Barkley.

But Waller also came with tremendous risk.

He has played more than 12 games just twice in nine professional seasons with the Giants, Raiders and Baltimore Ravens for a variety of reasons, including injury and suspension. More recently, it has been injuries. He retires now after one pedestrian, injury-filled year in New York in which he took the entire spring away from the team to make this decision.

The Giants knew at the end of last season that Waller was contemplating retirement and have been operating as if he isn't going to return. They drafted a tight end, Theo Johnson, in the fourth round and signed two others, Chris Manhertz and Jack Stoll, in free agency.

Daniel Bellinger will slide back into his pre-Waller role, and it appears more will be expected from Johnson and former wide receiver Lawrence Cager in the pass-catching tight end role. Johnson and Cager are among the players who have received first-team offense opportunities this spring.

But the biggest onus might land on Malik Nabers, the Giants' No. 6 pick in the draft.

For the Giants to have any chance of evolving into an average offense (they finished 29th overall last season), they will need him to be a No. 1 receiver immediately. There isn't the supporting cast for another veteran to take the pressure off the dynamic rookie out of LSU.

Wide receiver Darius Slayton and running back Devin Singletary have already proved to be quality NFL players. Wide receivers Jalin Hyatt and Wan'Dale Robinson have potential to get there as well. But none are take-over-the-game players.

Waller once was. The Giants were expecting that, even if it was only in spurts. He was 30 years old at the time of the trade and under contract for three more seasons.