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Giants’ GM Joe Schoen on Darius Slayton, cap moves, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, more

Schoen addresses wide variety of topics

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Syndication: The Record Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen talked about a variety of topics on Thursday, likely his only media availability before the Week 1 game against the Tennessee Titans. Here are some of the takeaways.

Joe Schoen, college scout

We learned from the Giants’ 2022 draft class that Schoen likes to draft players he had personally scouted. So, it is noteworthy that Schoen said Thursday that he will attend the Notre Dame-Ohio State game this weekend.

Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud is among the top players in that game. If you have an Athletic subscription, Dane Brugler has a breakdown of the top prospects in that game, and several others this weekend. Our Chris Pflum will also be posting one before Saturday’s game.

Following what games Schoen attends this season will be a worthwhile endeavor for those who are already tuned in to the 2023 NFL Draft.

Darius Slayton

It sounds like the Giants do indeed intend to go forward with wide receiver Darius Slayton, considered by many — including yours truly — to be a cut or trade candidate to save salary cap space, on the 53-man roster.

“Yeah. Yup. He’ll be on the team Week 1,” Schoen said when asked about Slayton.

“You never know what’s going to happen, but we like our 53 right now, so we’re going to move forward with our 53. If there’s opportunities available that we need to pursue then we will, whether it’s Darius or anybody else.”

Was Schoen just trying to work the market to drum up an offer for the fourth-year wide receiver? Did he mean it? We will find out.

From a pure talent perspective, keeping Slayton would make sense. What simply has not been clear is how the Giants would do that given their salary cap mess. Again, we will know in the next few days.

Kenny Golladay

Schoen revealed that Golladay, a favorite target for frustrated Giants fans after his unproductive 2021 season, “had a little procedure” in the offseason that sidelined him during spring practices.

“He’s come to work every day. Great kid, knows his assignments, I don’t think he missed a practice. He’s been available.”

I said multiple times throughout training camp and the preseason that despite the up-and-down nature of Golladay’s summer the best thing about it was that he worked every day. Sounds like Schoen agrees.

Kadarius Toney in Week 1 plans

Wide receiver Kadarius Toney did not practice all spring after offseason knee surgery. He did not practice most of training camp and did not play a single preseason snap due to a hamstring issue. Yet, Schoen believes Toney will play in the season-opener.

“I’m excited to see him get on the field in a game, in a meaningful opportunity, and know the playbook and make plays,” Schoen said.

“We’re planning on him being ready on Sept. 11th when we go play Tennessee.”

Despite everything, a healthy Toney can be a difference-maker for the Giants.

About the salary cap

In talking about the salary cap, a disgusted-looking Schoen threw up his hands in despair while talking about “the situation” he is tasked with cleaning up.

“We like the guys that are here,” Schoen said. “The situation that we’re in we’ll probably have to re-structure something (a player contract) here going into next week. That’s something we’ll do. We’re still working through a couple different scenarios.

“We’ll get where we need to get where we can get through the season. The situation is the situation. It’s the hand we were dealt and we’re going to do the best we can with what we have.”

The Giants are currently a league-worst $5.205 million OVER the $208.2 million 2022 cap. They have to be under the cap by Tuesday, Sept. 6.

The most logical re-structure candidate might be defensive lineman Leonard Williams. He carries a $27.3 million cap hit in 2022 and $26.3 million in 2023, the final year of his current deal. The Giants could extend Williams and lower his 2022 cap hit.

The Giants could save $17.75 million and carry only $3.4 million in dead money if they can find a trade partner willing to take wide receiver Kenny Golladay. The problem is the Giants are almost certainly not going to be able to find such a partner.

The Giants could move on from wide receiver Darius Slayton, a move that would provide $2.54 million in cap relief. Hardly enough, but a step in the right direction.


The Giants have continued their annual trend of sustaining too many injuries, despite Schoen and coach Brian Daboll bringing in new ideas.

“It’s football. Injuries are going to happen. We’re always evaluating every part of the process but, concussions are going to happen, it’s a contact sport. You’re going to have muscle strains. It happens every year. We can evaluate it and look at it, but those things are going to happen ...

“If there’s something that we can do better, we’ll find a way to do it better.”

Schoen pointed out that the Giants had a player sustain a concussion despite wearing a Guardian Cap and banging helmets with another player also wearing the protective cap.

Reality is, the Giants do the best they can to keep players safe and healthy. It isn’t always going to happen.