Darius Slayton 'confident' on contract resolution with Giants

ByJordan Raanan ESPN logo
Thursday, May 2, 2024

NEW YORK -- New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton is "confident" there will be a resolution to his contract situation as he continues to stay away from the team's voluntary offseason workouts.

Slayton spoke on Wednesday night when he was being honored for his work in the community at the annual Gridiron Gala, which supports the United Way of New York City. It was his first time speaking since ESPN reported that he was not planning on attending team activities this spring as he looks for a contract extension from the Giants.

Slayton signed a two-year, $12.2 million contract prior to last season. He's due $6.2 million in the final year of his deal this season, some of which has already been paid.

The veteran receiver is optimistic something can get done this spring.

"Right now, my agent [Michael Perrett] and [general manager] Joe [Schoen], they're in negotiations. They're talking," Slayton said. "Hopefully we'll come to a resolution here soon."

Slayton, 27, has been the Giants' leading receiver in four of the past five seasons. He had 50 catches for 774 yards last year, significant numbers considering the depth of the offense's struggles.

To improve the receiver group, the Giants drafted wide receiver Malik Nabers sixth overall last week. Afterward, Schoen still expressed a desire to keep Slayton. He specifically mentioned Slayton's value.

"We already paid a roster bonus," Schoen said. "He had one that kicked in the fifth day of the league year, and you look at the P5 [base salary], where that is and you want to look at the production from last year to this year and you take all of those things into account. Us drafting Malik Nabers doesn't affect where we are on that."

Being traded does not seem a likely solution at this point. It's more likely Slayton stays. He seems to believe his contract will be adjusted or extended, although he couldn't pinpoint which was more likely at this point.

What Slayton did seem confident about was this would not drag into training camp or the season.

"I don't think it will get to that point," he said. "Like I said, it's been good, constant communication throughout the whole process. It'll be resolved soon."

That is his preferred outcome. He doesn't want to be elsewhere.

Slayton chose to return to the Giants as a free agent last year when he had outside offers.

"I'd like to be here, of course," he said. "Obviously, I came here just for this [Gridiron Gala] event. I've enjoyed my time as a Giant and I'd like to remain a Giant. Hopefully that will be the result of this."

Slayton came into town along with his parents to be honored as a "hometown hero" Wednesday night for his work in the community and with local youth. New York Jets linebacker Quincy Williams was also honored at the 31st annual Gridiron Gala.

Slayton feels he's put in too much work -- with the organization and in the community -- to want to leave now.

"I think [being honored is] the biggest [validation]," he said. "What could be bigger than trying to help somebody out in the community that you're a part of that has embraced me? Just an opportunity to give back. I try to help out wherever I can."

Among the teammates who were there to support Slayton was quarterback Daniel Jones. The two have become friends after being selected in the same draft class back in 2019.

Jones made sure to show his support Wednesday night.

"Played a lot of football together," Jones said. "Spent a lot of time off the field together. He's an important guy to me and he's worked really hard at a lot of this stuff. It's cool to be here [Wednesday night] to watch him be recognized. It's very well deserved."

Jones did provide an update on his health before the event. He said he has been cutting and "doing everything" as he rehabs the torn ACL that ended his season prematurely last year. The plan remains to be ready for camp.

When asked about the Giants' flirtation with quarterbacks and, specifically, No. 3 overall pick Drake Maye in the draft, Jones said he's "focused on what I can control."

He was, however, "excited" to add Nabers to the mix, noting that he's a dynamic and explosive player.