Giants’ Darren Waller, 31, announces retirement from NFL

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Darren Waller made a decision on his NFL future and revealed Sunday he’s choosing to step away from the game.

The New York Giants tight end announced on social media that he’s retiring from the league after nine seasons, which included one Pro Bowl appearance.


Darren Waller vs Eagles

New York Giants tight end Darren Waller walks through the tunnel at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Dec. 25, 2023. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)

Waller, 31, said in a video on his YouTube channel that “the passion has slowly been fading.”

“I’ve decided to retire from the game of football,” he wrote separately on Instagram. “To God: what a journey, and thank you. We took it way farther than I ever could have imagined! So grateful for all the ppl I’ve been able to connect and create memories with along the way. We still got plenty more life left to live. Love you all. Peace.”

The NFL Network first reported on Waller informing the Giants he was going to retire.

“We have great respect for Darren as a person and player. We wish him nothing but the best,” the team said.

Darren Waller vs Commanders

New York Giants tight end Darren Waller catches the ball against the Washington Commanders at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Oct. 22, 2023. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)


It’s been a wild 18 months for Waller.

He was traded from the Las Vegas Raiders to the Giants in March 2023 – right after getting married to WNBA star Kelsey Plum.

He played 12 games for the Giants in 2023 but fell short of expectations with 52 catches for 552 yards and a touchdown.

Rumors began after the season that he was planning to retire from the NFL. Then the news broke he was divorcing Plum after barely a year of marriage. He then released music, appearing to tout the new lane he is set to take.

Waller said in his video he was doing fine and was excited about the next steps in his life.

Darren Waller vs Rams

Darren Waller (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports/File)


The Giants will save $11.6 million in cap money and take a $2.5 million hit in dead money due to Waller’s retirement. The team apparently prepared for this day by drafting tight end Theo Johnson out of Penn State in April.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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