NEW YORK — The Giants made a blockbuster trade for a big-time receiver on Tuesday. And he’s a tight end.
Darren Waller is now a Giant.
Giants general manager Joe Schoen acquired the Las Vegas Raiders tight end in exchange for a third-round pick, No. 100 overall.
It’s the same pick the Giants acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs in their trade of Kadarius Toney to the eventual Super Bowl champions last fall.
So Schoen flipped a talented and disgruntled former first-round pick of the Giants’ previous regime in exchange for one of the NFL’s best receiving tight ends — when he’s healthy.
The caveat is that Waller, 30, has not been healthy lately.
He played in only 20 of the Raiders’ 34 regular-season games the past two seasons, including a stint on injured reserve with a right hamstring strain.
That makes this an uncharacteristic move by Schoen, who prioritizes availability and durability.
The upside with the 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end, though, is tantalizing.
“He’s a matchup nightmare,” one NFL player said.
Waller had back-to-back 1,100-yard receiving seasons when healthy in 2019 and 2020, including career highs of 107 catches, 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns during the 2020 season.
That makes this somewhat of a low-risk trade, since Waller has no guaranteed money in his contract past this season, even though it technically runs through 2026.
He’ll cost $11.875 million against the salary cap in 2023, giving Daniel Jones another weapon to try and maximize Brian Daboll’s offense after the organization paid its quarterback to take the next step.