Potential Giants Swap Replaces Cap Casualty With Big-Play Threat

Giants WR Darius Slayton could be replaced with Malik Nabers in 2024.

Getty New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton profiles as a cut candidate in 2024.

The New York Giants are projected to have a little over $33 million in available cap space in 2024 according to Over the Cap.

One common way to free up more money are cap casualties, or the release of a veteran contract that qualifies as a cap-saving move. In 2024, wide receiver Darius Slayton fits that description.

Slayton has served as the Giants WR1 for the past couple of seasons, but he’s really more of a second or third option in most NFL offenses. Unfortunately for the former fifth-round selection, Big Blue has already drafted out those roles to Wan’Dale Robinson and Jalin Hyatt.

That makes him expendable, and Bleacher Report’s NFL Scouting Department suggested “moving on from” Slayton on January 10 in order to save another $6 million in cap space. A cut like this would also come with a manageable dead money charge of $1.75 million (per OTC).

In the same breath, Bleacher Report offered a solution at WR1: drafting LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers at No. 6 overall.

Malik Nabers’ Rare Mix of Explosiveness & Versatility Could Stretch Field for Giants

The B/R staff explained why Nabers could be the perfect Slayton upgrade in 2024, using quotes from one of their NFL draft scouts, Derrik Klassen.

“Especially if Slayton ends up becoming a cap casualty, wide receiver will be one of the Giants’ top draft needs,” they began. “They’ll likely be out of range for Marvin Harrison Jr., but Nabers is a quality wideout in his own right, currently ranking seventh and as the No. 2 player at the position on B/R’s big board.”

Klassen noted Nabers’ ability to stretch the field, line up at any WR position, and “go from 0-60 in a heartbeat.”

“There aren’t many defensive backs who can go step for step with him once he’s at top speed,” the draft scout voiced, calling Nabers a “menace on go routes, slot fades [and] posts.” Klassen also praised the LSU talent for “consistently dominating on curl routes, dig routes, and hinge routes—all routes that allow him to threaten the DB vertically before breaking.”

Pairing Nabers with another big-play threat like Hyatt would make the Giants offense less predictable. It could also open things up for the 2023 draft pick, considering Nabers would demand more attention.

Giants Can Nab New WR1 by Drafting Malik Nabers in Round 1 of 2024 Draft

Bleacher Report writer Joe Tansey agreed with the assessment of his colleagues, labeling Nabers “one of two wide receiver targets the Giants should have at No. 6.” The other would be Washington prospect Rome Odunze — given the assumption that Harrison is off the board.

“Nabers turned in back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons at LSU, and he improved in all of the major stat categories this season,” Tansey argued. “He recorded 1,569 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns on 89 receptions [in 2023]. He had 72 catches, 1,017 yards and three scores a year ago.”

Pro Football Network also seemed to lean Nabers over Odunze.

“In a wide receiver class boasting what appears to be a generational prospect, it should be hard to stand out,” PFN scout Dalton Miller wrote in September of 2023. “Somehow, Malik Nabers finds a way to fire a laser through the blinding light of Marvin Harrison Jr.”

But don’t assume Nabers is just another speedster. The Draft Network’s Keith Sanchez described him as a “physically-dominant receiver that can win in all areas of the field” — within a scouting report on January 3. He also highlighted his body control, contested-catching, versatility, and “quick and shifty” run-after-catch ability.

Tansey concluded that “Nabers would give the Giants a big-play No. 1 wide receiver that they have lacked for years, and it would make the passing attack much more dangerous with the [two] returning wide outs and Darren Waller in support of the top-tier pass-catcher.”

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