The murmurs around Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton aren’t likely to go away, but general manager Joe Schoen did his best quelling a little bit of it on Thursday when he said that Slayton would be in a New York uniform for Week 1. Slayton, who has had a tough preseason, played it somewhat cool when asked about Schoen’s comments, but expressed his gratitude to still be a member of the team.
Earlier in the week, reports had surfaced that the Giants had been receiving calls from other teams inquiring about the 25-year-old.
“We’ve spoke about it and pretty much there’s the same sentiment,” Slayton said when asked about it after practice on Thursday. “I’m glad to be here. I’m glad to still be here with my teammates. Obviously, I love playing for this franchise, so it’s a blessing to be here.”
The Giants will enter the 2022 campaign with seven receivers on the roster, which Schoen had joked had to do with head coach Brian Daboll being an offensive coach. The Giants’ salary cap issues have made Slayton a target for being possibly cut or traded.
Moving Slayton would free up $2.54 million in cap space for the Giants and, despite a strong rookie season, he has never been able to recreate that magic on the field. Part of that had been due to injuries that have slowed him down.
And even with Schoen saying that he’d play Week 1 for the Giants, the general manager never fully eliminated the possibility of moving Slayton down the line.
“You never know what’s going to happen, but we like our (53-man roster) right now, so we’re going to move forward with our 53,” Schoen said. “If there are opportunities available that we need to pursue, then we will, whether it’s Darius or anybody else. Everybody is competing on a daily basis for their position, and we want the best 53.”
While Slayton has continued to be in the spotlight through camp and now heading into the regular season, he has tried not to focus on the outside noise. The thought of being dealt, even if it comes after Week 1, has not been a concern for him either.
“That’s not really been on my mind, to be honest,” Slayton said. “I’m just going to play ball and let the chips fall where they may.”
Through all of it, the 25-year-old has remained steadfast in his abilities to be a weapon for the Giants receiving group. Slayton did not have a reception in the Giants’ final preseason game of the year and had one catch for 17 yards in two exhibition performances.
He has notably had trouble during camp creating separation with defenders, but that has shaken his confidence publically.
“I can play ball and I’ve shown that in my time being here,” he said. “Obviously it’s up to the coaches to determine whatever (that role) will be, but whatever it is I’ll fulfill it to the best of my ability.”