“Got the guaranteed money and ran off” – Darren Waller officially announces retirement days after ugly split with Kelsey Plum, fans react

Before retiring Waller was the highest paid tight end in the league.


“Got the guaranteed money and ran off” – Darren Waller officially announces retirement days after ugly split with Kelsey Plum, fans react

Darren Waller announced his retirement (Image via IMAGO)

The New York Giants tight end Darren Waller who suffered from substance abuse has announced his retirement from professional football. Waller, a 9-year veteran of the game, shared a heartfelt video on social media describing his tumultuous life.

He disclosed the troubles from the last four years played a large part in his decision to hang up his boots at just 31. While speaking about his experiences, Waller called himself a ‘people pleaser’ and not being able to live for himself was weighing on him too much.

There were rumors that he would make it official, but the suddenness of the announcement caught fans by surprise. He claimed that now he can finally make the choices that he wanted and get back that life he almost lost four times.

I’m doing something that I found a lot of joy in [and have had amazing moments with], but the passion has slowly been fading. I feel like I’ve spent most of my life doing what I should be doing and measuring that in the eyes of what people would expect from me.
Darren Waller said in his video message on Sunday

A spokesperson from the Giants revealed Waller’s agent informed about his client’s decision last week.

Football fans on social media poke fun at Darren Waller for his sudden retirement

Besides fighting against depression and injury, Waller also had to deal with relationship issues. After marrying WNBA player Kelsey Plum in March 2023, the pair went through an ugly split in April.

Daniel Waller (Image via IMAGO)

Their breakup drama became a massive talking point in the past few months. Waller even wrote a song hinting at the reason behind his unsuccessful marriage with Plum.

Waller even stayed away from the Giants’ organized team activities, essentially forgoing the $200,000 he could have earned from it.

Darren Waller had signed a three-year $51 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2022, making him the highest-paid tight end in the NFL. Then he moved to New York, in the 2023 offseason. He was due to earn $10.525 million in salary in 2024. According to Spotrac, Waller’s retirement freed up $11.625 million in cap space for the Giants.

Yet the money did not matter to him in the end. He chose life over the constant pressure of people’s expectancy.

In 31 years, I should have died at least four times. But I’m still here… At this point, it’s really about becoming who I really am.
Darren Waller said

With Waller now no longer with the Giants, the tight end duty falls to third-year veteran Daniel Bellinger. The team also drafted Penn State graduate Theo Johnson this year for extra depth.

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