Daniel Jones has a new contract and a couple of new targets to aim for in recently acquired tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Parris Campbell, but that’s not all the New York Giants are doing to keep their starting quarterback happy.
The Giants are also re-signing Darius Slayton on a two-year deal, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport:
Garafolo subsequently tweeted Slayton’s new contract will pay No. 86 “two years, $12 million base value with a max value of $16.5 million, source says.”
Those fresh terms are ample reward for a player who became one of Jones’ trusted targets during the business end of last season. Slayton is also the third of Jones’ familiar receivers brought back by the Giants, who have re-signed exclusive-rights free agent Isaiah Hodgins and retained Sterling Shepard for another season.
Former 5th-Round Pick Earned New Payday
As Dan Duggan of The Athletic pointed out, Slayton earned his market value from his new contract:
It’s a deserved payday for a wide receiver who began last season the subject of trade rumors, before rebounding to offer Jones a rare vertical threat. Slayton averaged 15.7 yards per reception and gained 10.2 yards per target, both career-best tallies, according to Pro Football Reference.
The 26-year-old also amassed 262 of his 462 total receiving yards after the catch. That number is a reflection of Slayton’s ability to gain separation and get behind coverage.
He showed off a knack for the latter by making two catches of 50-plus yards and another good for 44 yards. One of his best plays was this long grab against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 12:
Now Slayton gets to combine his ability to stretch the field with the talents of newcomers Waller and Campbell.
Giants Have Successfully Restocked Jones’ Weapons
The deal to acquire Campbell, initially reported by Jordan Schultz of The Score, gives Jones another speedster to aim for during the new season. Campbell averaged 16.2 yards a catch for the Indianapolis Colts in 2021, as well as burning the Giants for a 49-yard reception in Week 17 last season.
Signing Campbell comes on the heels of trading a third-round pick to the Las Vegas Raiders for 2020 Pro-Bowler Waller. Like Campbell, Waller is another pass-catcher who knows how to get vertical.
The 6’6″, 238-pounder has averaged over 11 yards per reception for five seasons running. Both numbers and signings have revealed an obvious pattern evident in the Giants’ recruitment strategy involving receivers.
Specifically, the Giants have felt the need for speed to expand what was a pedestrian passing attack during 2022. It’s mission accomplished, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, who applauded the G-Men for getting “younger and faster” on the wideout depth chart:
The question remains, though, has general manager Joe Schoen done enough to equip Jones with better targets? There’s still room for a legitimate No. 1 receiver on the outside, a role neither Slayton, nor Campbell, Shepard nor Hodgins are capable of performing.
It means the Giants should still be keeping tabs on the quality wide receivers available in the 2023 NFL draft, a selection meeting that features a class loaded at the position.