Very few people (myself included) expected wide receiver Darius Slayton to be a member of the New York Giants Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans.
It was widely believed that the $2.5 million in cap savings to be gained from trading or releasing him was more valuable than the player himself. Slayton, however, this week accepted a significant pay cut in order to remain with the Giants. He had an excused absence from practice on Tuesday, prior to accepting the pay cut on Wednesday. He spoke to the media following the Giants practice, and at times it seemed like the reporters in attendance and Slayton were at two different press conferences.
Right off the bat he was asked if Wednesday was a particularly difficult, or unique, day for him.
“No, about the same. I went to meetings. Obviously, we covered the Titans – it’s our opponent this wee,” Slayton said.” So, pretty much the same.”
When asked what his mind set was with regards to his financials after the pay cut, he deflected the conversation.
“My mindset now is (Titans cornerback) Kristian Fulton and (Titans cornerback) Roger McCreary are good corners,” he said. “So is (Titans safety) Kevin Byard and their other starting safety, they’re all good players. They’ve got a good defensive backfield that we’ve got to be ready for.”
The next exchange drove the point home that Slayton was there to talk about the Giants’ upcoming opponent, and not the financial hardball they were force to play.
He was asked, “Did you think about telling them, you know what – just cut me?” He responded:
“Yeah, (Titans defensive tackle) Jeff Simmons is a hell raiser. He’s a really good defensive tackle. A good rusher, good player. We’ve got to be ready for him.”
Slayton said that he intends to just keep his head down and play football.
“That’s my job, it’s what I do for a living. I tend to do it well and I plan to do it well this year.”
This is a contract year for Slayton, and it’s clear that the Slayton has his work cut out for him if he wants to stay a Giant. It also seems as though a trade market didn’t materialize for him, suggesting how the rest of the NFL values him.
He also realizes that and says he needs to show the NFL that he’s a good player.
“I think I’ve shown that in the past, but I look forward to showing that again and showing that I’m a better player than what I’ve been in the past,” he said.