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Report: Former Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller retires from NFL at 31 after 1 season with Giants

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Former Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller has retired from the NFL at 31 years old after a single season with the New York Giants, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports.

Waller informed the Giants of his decision prior to the start of their minicamp, per the report. New York‘s mandatory minicamp starts on Tuesday. The Giants traded a third-round pick to acquire Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders prior to last season.

Waller, an eight-season NFL veteran, had reportedly been contemplating his retirement throughout the offseason. His decision came as no surprise to the Giants, who selected Penn State tight end Theo Johnson in the fourth round of April’s NFL draft. Though they surely expected more than a season of his services when the traded for him in 2023.

Waller addressed his status on social media on June 3 amid reports that he had been contemplating retirement. He said then that he had yet to make a decision.

Waller started 12 games for the Giants, tallying 52 catches for 522 yards and a touchdown. He previously played six seasons with Raiders and made the Pro Bowl after the 2020 season. He played his first two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens starting in 2015.

It’s not clear what prompted Waller to retire. He remained a productive NFL starter and would have projected atop the Giants depth chart had he remained with the team. He released a music video in May depicting his relationship and breakup with WNBA All-Star Kelsey Plum. The couple announced their divorce earlier in May after a year of marriage. It’s not clear if Waller intends to pursue music further.

With Waller gone, third-year tight end Daniel Bellinger projects as New York’s No. 1 tight end next season. Bellinger started 13 games last season, tallying 25 catches for 255 yards.

This story will be updated.

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