After a fantastic rookie season with the New York Giants, the play of wide receiver Darius Slayton has been rather underwhelming. The fourth-year receiver out of Auburn emerged as a legitimate deep threat, though, is coming off of the worst year of his career thus far. In 2021, his 339 yards and two touchdowns in 26 receptions all are career-low marks. When taking his drops into account, it is easy to say his performance has been disappointing. Especially his potential game-winning drop in Week 2 against the Washington Commanders. With a new regime running the show, it is beginning to look like Slayton’s time in New York may be coming to an end.
Darius Slayton Inching Closer to New York Giants Roster Bubble
Darius Slayton an Addition of Previous Regime
New York Giants new General Manager Joe Schoen has shown no mercy in parting ways with his predecessor’s players. Defensive backs Logan Ryan and James Bradberry, who were once faces of the secondary, are gone. Nobody on any roster is safe when a new regime enters, and Slayton faces the challenge in camp of proving his worth to Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll. It is only a matter of time until Dave Gettleman’s players are all gone.
Additionally, Schoen opted to retain veteran Sterling Shepard, as well as drafting a wideout early. In round two, the Giants selected Kentucky’s Wan’Dale Robinson, adding a versatile and elusive weapon to the position group. Ultimately, it appears Slayton has an uphill climb to impress Schoen and Daboll. Except, it doesn’t appear to have gotten off to a great start…
No First-Team Reps for Darius Slayton
Throughout the off-season program to date, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Shepard have spent their time in red jerseys working with trainers on the sidelines. Even so, Slayton has still been unable to establish himself in the depth chart with three spots ahead of him up for grabs in practice. Thus, aligning him in the rotation to barely see the field upon their return.
It doesn’t help that Wan’Dale Robinson has made fabulous catches in practice, making him a candidate for the fourth receiver spot on the depth chart. Robinson’s strong hands are an improvement over Slayton, who owns a catch rate of 52.1% over his career according to Pro Football Reference. This mark is 10% less than the league average, which is obviously not ideal. In cutting ties with Slayton, the Giants can save over $2.5 million against their cap.
Giants Adding Competition in Keelan Doss
Added to the team this past weekend, Keelan Doss spent last season with the Las Vegas Raiders, only having played three snaps in 2021. By no means is Doss a lock to make the Giants 53-man roster for 2022, but it is notable that the Giants are searching for more depth. The Giants are recovering in terms of cap space, and paying a fifth or sixth receiver over $2.5 million is not ideal. Once again, adding another aspect to Slayton’s potential departure.
Darius Slayton Has Trade Value
At the end of the day, Schoen should be ecstatic if the Giants can acquire a draft pick in return for Darius Slayton. Rather than parting with him for nothing, New York can add NFL Draft capital. Considering his contract, he won’t command anything more than a late-day-three selection. If a team believes in the upside of Slayton and can stand his low catch rate, they will pounce. Until then, it looks more and more likely that Slayton is trending towards the roster bubble.
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