Darius Slayton


Darius Slayton


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A trade package involving Darius Slayton could land the New York Giants an award-winning WR.

He’s back at OTAs, but Darius Slayton still faces an uncertain future with the New York Giants. Perhaps the issue could be resolved by sending the wide receiver to the Minnesota Vikings as part of a trade for 2022 NFL Offensive Player of the Year Justin Jefferson?

It’s a scenario outlined by Andrew Harbaugh of Vikings Wire. He packaged Slayton together with “First and third-round picks in the 2025 NFL Draft, first and third-round picks in the 2026 NFL Draft” to acquire All-Pro wideout Jefferson.

The Vikings could be receptive to a deal after they explored trading Jefferson prior to the 2024 NFL draft, according to Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Increasing a contract that already pays Jefferson $19 million-plus a season before free agency in 2025 was (and remains) a looming concern for the Vikings.

Walters’ report was endorsed by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who revealed the Vikings wanted to use a trade for Jefferson to spoil the Giants’ draft day plans: “As the unconfirmed rumor went, the Vikings were trying to trade up to No. 5 with the Chargers. With the goal of cutting the line in front of the Giants. With the goal of taking not a quarterback, but LSU receiver Malik Nabers.”

Ultimately, the Giants will be happy they got to take Malik Nabers with the sixth-overall pick. He’s expected to be the go-to receiver quarterback Daniel Jones desperately needs, but a rookie is no guarantee.

Not like Jefferson, who is arguably the most dominant receiver in the game.


Justin Jefferson Trade a Costly Dream for Giants

Partnering Nabers with Jefferson, another former LSU standout, would surely take the Giants’ passing game up a level or two. A chance to turn two roving, field-stretching playmakers loose against overmatched defenses makes a trade worth exploring.

The problem is the Giants hardly have the financial clout to make a deal work. Not when Jefferson is set to count for $19,743,000 against this year’s salary cap, according to Spotrac.com.

That number is well in excess of the mere $709,777 worth of space the Giants still have under the cap. It’s the second-lowest amount in the league.

The figures add up to the Giants being left to only dream about having Jefferson in their offense. They already know what Jefferson can be, based on two games against him during the 2022 season.

Jefferson burned Big Blue for 12 catches, 133 yards and a touchdown to help the Vikings win in Week 16 of that campaign. The Giants returned to Minnesota for the playoffs and managed to limit Jefferson to 47 yards from seven receptions.

They did it by doubling No. 18 consistently. Like with this out-to-in coverage by cornerback and safety, highlighted by ESPN’s Matt Bowen.

#Giants

Xavier McKinney.

Good look here at bracket coverage technique (vs. Justin Jefferson).

CB plays the first out-cut. Safety plays the first in-cut.

Be patient (when playing from depth). Open to the WR. Transition on the break. And take away the dig route.

This is the kind of attention the Giants hope Nabers draws on a weekly basis. It’s also why Jefferson will command top dollar on the open market.

The same can’t be said of Slayton.


Darius Slayton Still Faces Uncertain Future

He’s been consistent, logging 700 or more receiving yards in four of his five seasons. Numbers like those are why Slayton wants a contract extension, but the Giants have so far been reluctant to offer fresh terms.

To make matters worse for Slayton, the team did deem it necessary to draft Nabers and sign Allen Robinson II in free agency. Robinson is more of a possession-style receiver, but his arrival still spells trouble for Slayton.

The latter has usually thrived when attacking defenses vertically. Like for this 81-yard touchdown catch against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 17.

Plays like this mean Slayton could have value on the trade market, since the Giants are no longer tethered to his deep speed. Not when Nabers and second-year burner Jalin Hyatt can also stretch the field.

Veteran Robinson joining third-year pro Wan’Dale Robinson to attack underneath coverage leaves Slayton without an obvious role in the rotation. It’s probably why he’s back at OTAs, per Talkin’ Giants, to try and remind coaches he still has a part to play.

Darius Slayton only missed 3 OTA’s. He’s there today.

Jones, head coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka know Slayton can deliver. Their knowledge and trust could keep him on the roster for this season at least.

It’s a more realistic prospect than trading for Jefferson.

James Dudko covers the New York Giants, Washington Commanders, New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens for Heavy.com. He has covered the NFL and world soccer since 2011, with bylines at FanSided, Prime Time Sports Talk and Bleacher Report before joining Heavy in 2021. More about James Dudko





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