Darius Slayton accepts pay cut to stay with Giants

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Darius Slayton was “excused” by the Giants from Tuesday’s practice, it turns out, because he was accepting a pay cut to remain with the team.

So Wednesday was a difficult and humbling scene.

Slayton, 25, a quiet and hard worker in a position room short on the latter skill, was the first player onto the practice field. But he was clearly down because, well, it doesn’t feel good when everyone knows you had to forfeit money to stay on a roster.

Especially since Slayton led this team in receiving yards two seasons ago (751 in 2020) and was just about to make some real NFL money in his fourth season.

“I just play football. That’s my job, it’s what I do for a living,” a proud Slayton said at his locker. “I tend to do it well, and I plan to do it well this year.”

Slayton had to take a pay cut from his scheduled $2.54 million to the league minimum at $965,000. The move was first reported by Newsday.

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Slayton was available via trade in both the spring and summer, but Giants GM Joe Schoen couldn’t make a deal. Late in camp, teams interested in Slayton were waiting for his release but not interested in trading.

The team had called it an “excused absence” on Tuesday when Slayton didn’t practice, but what really was happening is Slayton and his agents were deliberating and deciding and eventually accepting a pay cut from Schoen.

“Yeah. He was talking to Joe. Business stuff,” head coach Brian Daboll said Wednesday before practice. “There’s football stuff, this was the business side of it. So the guys ironed out with his representatives and Joe, and he’s out here today. Good to have him back.”

Slayton could have opted to try his fortunes elsewhere, but he has rapport with Daniel Jones and has practiced in this offense, so staying made more sense in the short term.

Plus with the amount of injuries this receiving corps has dealt with – Slayton included – anyone in that room is always a snap away from playing.

Slayton is listed last on the Giants’ wide receiver depth chart, though. And he did his best to talk about Sunday’s game, even answering questions about his personal situation with comments about Tennessee’s players.

But he said his aim is to show “I’m a good football player.”

“I think I’ve shown that in the past,” he said. “But I look forward to showing that again and showing that I’m a better player than what I’ve been in the past.”

MORE OWNERSHIP PRESENCE

Jonathan Tisch, the team’s treasurer and part of the owning Tisch family, was on the practice field Wednesday speaking with Schoen. Tisch has been present more this way in recent years as co-owner Steve Tisch has receded from the public eye.

Most notably on ownership, however, co-owner John Mara has not addressed the media all training camp. He annually speaks at the start of camp in the summer, or sometime prior to the regular season’s start.

This year, it appears silence is Mara’s operative strategy as Schoen and Daboll do the talking.

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THE INJURY REPORT

Giants edge rushers Kayvon Thibodeaux (sprained right MCL) and Azeez Ojulari (calf), safety Dane Belton (broken collarbone) and wideout Sterling Shepard (left Achilles) all were listed as limited Wednesday on the first official injury report of the Giants’ 2022 season … Titans DBs Lonnie Johnson (groin) and Elijah Molden (groin) did not practice. Tennessee LB Chance Campbel (knee) and OL Jamarco Jones (triceps) were limited.

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