Darius Slayton did not get Terrell Owens-level emotional talking about, but the New York Giants wide receiver made it clear that Daniel Jones is his quarterback, and a big reason he just re-signed with the team.
“Anybody who follows me on Twitter knows Daniel Jones slander is not being tolerated on my timeline. That’ll be that way probably until the day I die,” Slayton said. “I’m extremely happy for him and I’m just glad he’s able to get his due.
“I was really happy when his deal got done. That was obviously a huge plus for me in coming back here.”
Slayton added that he “might have been more happy for his [Jones’] deal than my own. I’ve been here for everything that it’s taken for him to get here and seeing the way people viewed him before and the way they view him now.”
At the end of the 2022 season, many figured Slayton would move on in free agency. The Giants new regime had forced him to take a pay cut last season, and then pushed him to the bottom of the depth chart before injuries to and lack of performance by others got him an opportunity.
He turned that into a two-year, $12 million deal to stay that could eventually be worth $16.5 million.
Slayton was a standup guy last season who did not make excuses, but just worked for his opportunity. He gave a glimpse of that attitude on Monday.
“I just think in life I try not to bring emotion into things that aren’t emotional, and football’s not emotional. Either you go out there and make plays and the people that make the decisions play the people that make plays, or you don’t.,” he said. “At the end of the day when it comes to football or anything like that I tend to point the thumb and not the finger and look at what I can do better. What have I done to put myself in whatever situation?
“Sometimes in life you do do everything you’re supposed to do and you end up getting screwed over, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t somewhat contribute to my situation last year. At the end of the day I have to take responsibility for that and do better.”
Slayton was buried on the depth chart and got limited opportunities during 2022 training camp. He took the blame for that.
“I made a lot of plays during camp, but first of all I hurt my hamstring, which held me out of practice for a while and didn’t allow me to be able to showcase my full abilities,” he said. “There’s always a lot of ways you could look at things, but to me I look at it as if I stretched more, if I had prepared myself more, if I had done different things I would have never hurt myself and I would have had a chance to show my full ability and what I’m capable of ... I always like to take responsibility for my part in whatever it is that negatively impacts me and I do my best to correct it.”
Slayton said other teams were interested, and that because Georgia is home playing for the Atlanta Falcons was a consideration.
“Ultimately I think that the best football decision for me was being back here with Daniel and continuing to grow with him in [Mike] Kafka’s offense,” he said. “There’s some familiarity here, you know what Dabs and Kaf and Joe are building here and some of the guys that they acquired, I just felt like this would be the best place for me to go. Obviously I’m comfortable here, I enjoy being here, I enjoy the people here, so it was easy to come back.”
After going through three years of losing with Jones and other teammates, Slayton said he really didn’t want to leave the giants.
“It would have been kind of crazy to leave after somewhat building all these bricks and then as soon as we get the thing built to just jump off the top,” he said. “I definitely wanted to stick around and be at the top and take in the view myself.”
Now, he gets to be part of it as the Giants try to rise even higher.