The abundance of additions to the New York Giants receiving core this offseason may appear to paint Darius Slayton as a forgotten man in the Daniel Jones-led aerial attack. However, don’t be fooled. While the Auburn product may have not lived up to the WR1 hype that followed him into 2020, the speedster continued to strike fear into opposing defenses as he became the lone Giant to exceed 700 receiving yards in back-to-back seasons since Odell Beckham Jr.’s departure in 2019.
If anything, having a certified go-to target such as Kenny Golladay opposite Slayton should unlock a world of opportunities for the 24-year-old to feast on second and third-tier cornerbacks. Already one of the league’s most underrated deep threats, Slayton’s 2021 production could theoretically prove to be his best yet and potentially lend its hand to a sizeable bump in pay for the former fifth-round pick.
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Slayton on the Verge of Big Pay Day?
As Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports highlighted, the Giants may once again be forced to empty their pockets for a wideout, naming Slayton among the “top underrated NFC players on verge of big paydays.”
“The G-Men may have paid Kenny Golladay and drafted Kadarius Toney because they don’t believe Slayton alone — or in tandem with Sterling Shepard — can headline the WR corps,” wrote Benjamin. “But he still probably doesn’t get enough credit for his upside as a No. 2/3, having topped 700 yards and 15 yards per catch in each of his first two years.”
Slayton is set to enter the third season of a four-year, $2.75 million contract. Over his two seasons in East Rutherford, the Georgia native has amassed 98 receptions for 1,491 receiving yards (15.2 average) and 11 touchdowns.
Does Slayton Deliver NY the Best Bang for Their Buck?
The Giants splurged this offseason with hopes of bolstering the roster of a team that hasn’t sniffed the postseason since 2016. Still, the much-maligned Dave Gettleman has been crafty enough throughout recent years to accumulate a handful of tantalizing in-house talent on bargain deals. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence and center Nick Gates quickly jump to mind when evaluating the franchise’s best-value contracts. However, the fact that Slayton — who averaged the 18th-most receiving yards in the NFL this past season (15.0 ypr) — is the league’s 333rd highest-paid wideout based on average salary is simply asinine.
Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report would seemingly agree with this notion, landing on the third-year pro as the team’s best value contract entering 2021.
It’s fair to wonder if surprise sensation Darius Slayton will have trouble remaining a key piece of the New York Giants receiving corps now that he’s joined by Kenny Golladay, John Ross and rookie first-round pick Kadarius Toney.
That said, the 2019 fifth-round pick doesn’t have the same look or feel as any of those guys, two of whom might not be capable of making the same impact as Slayton on the boundary. That’s why after consecutive 700-yard seasons to start his career, Slayton remains the top bargain with an average annual salary below $700,000.
The 24-year-old beat out a pair of strong trench players in defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence and center Nick Gates. The former is becoming a star up front, while the latter has flashed as a 2018 undrafted free agent. But both still make almost five times what Slayton pulls in.
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