Giants’ Waller was surprised by trade to New York

Newest Giants TE Darren Waller just married WNBA and Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum in early March, and a few days later, Waller and his former team, the Las Vegas Raiders, are now divorced as he was traded to the Giants for a 2023 third-round pick.

Like many, the 30-year-old Waller, who met the New York media on Wednesday, was surprised by the move. He found out about the trade shortly after his honeymoon. 

“I did not see this coming,” Waller said. “I was getting ready to just do everything I could to make myself available for the Raiders and get ready for everything that was going to start in mid-April. It caught me off guard, but it’s the nature of the business… It was a bit of a curveball, coming back one day from the honeymoon.”

With Waller’s wife playing in Las Vegas and he now in New York, it could complicate his marriage, but the six-year veteran is looking to make the best of the situation.

“She supports me and wants to see me shine to my ultimate potential as a player while I still have the opportunity,” Waller said about Plum. “So, I’m grateful to have her support, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to remain strong together, whatever the distance looks like, the timing of it. I’m grateful to have somebody that understands how things work in an industry like this, and we just go forward and make the best of it what we can.”

Waller had back-to-back one-thousand-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020, but the last two seasons, he’s battled injuries; however, Waller believes he’s figured out where he went wrong, and he believes he can put up big numbers again.

“I’m feeling great right now,” he said. “I know for me, the biggest adjustment I’ve had to make going into this offseason is making sure that I’m peaking at the right time. Something that helped me to elevate my game at such a high level was working myself so hard in those 2018, 2019, 2020 offseasons, to where it was almost too hard, and that became my norm. Now it’s about how do I become more efficient with it and making sure I’m peaking when the season starts, not showing up to training camp having worked so hard that I’m almost exhausted. That doesn’t set me up for success or the team up for success. For me, it’s about making sure I’m peaking at the right time and having those conversations with the organization. So far, just being here today, I really feel like it’s going to set me up to get back on the trajectory that I was on.”

The Giants need weapons on offense, and acquiring Waller gives Daniel Jones a weapon he can utilize in the passing game.