Giants’ Allen Robinson Signing Signals 2 Roster Moves Are Imminent

Giants' Allen Robinson signing signals two roster moves.

Getty The New York Giants have signed veteran wide receiver Allen Robinson after the 2024 NFL Draft.

The New York Giants added to their wide receiver room once again on May 9, signing three-time 1,000-yard pass-catcher Allen Robinson II — but this move won’t come without ramifications for someone else.

Following the news, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan reminded that “with the signings of Robinson and [quarterback Nathan] Rourke this week, the Giants will need to create two roster spots once the undrafted free agents officially sign tomorrow [on May 10].”

That means two corresponding cuts or roster moves are imminent for Big Blue, and fans were quick to speculate on whether or not one might be the departure of former WR1 Darius Slayton.

“Could this signing mean they won’t negotiate with Slayton and they move off of him?” One supporter asked Duggan. New York Daily News reporter Pat Leonard also called Robinson “an interesting addition given Darius Slayton’s contract situation & early spring absence.”

Duggan was quick to shut down the idea of Robinson replacing Slayton, however. “Does this [signing] mean that [NYG will move on from Slayton]?” The beat writer replied. “No.”

Slayton has seemingly seen his role in this offense evaporate in recent weeks with the Giants spending assets on Malik Nabers and Robinson. Don’t forget that head coach Brian Daboll made a point out of trying to get Wan’Dale Robinson and Jalin Hyatt more reps and opportunities in 2023.

Assuming both draft picks remain a part of the organization’s plans, that doesn’t leave Slayton with a ton of playing time in 2024. And to make matters worse, he just requested a revised contract ahead of the draft.

If Big Blue were to part ways with Slayton, they could save $3.8 million in doing so via release, or $6.4 million if they were to find a trade partner. This situation could reach its conclusion as soon as tomorrow, May 10.

Giants Signing Allen Robinson to ‘Veteran Salary Benefit’ Deal: Report

There is a world where the Giants keep Slayton, despite adding another top-four wideout to the depth chart. CBS Sports NFL insider Josina Anderson reported: “I’m told [Robinson] was signed to a 1-year deal for the veteran salary benefit, per source.”

According to Spotrac, “VSB” contracts are worth a “base salary of $1,125,000” in 2024, however the salary cap charge will “drop down to $985,000.” Veteran minimum contracts can also include bonus money up to $167,500.

While it’s unclear how much Robinson has left in the tank with just 619 receiving yards over his past two seasons (27 starts), it’s a worthwhile dart throw for general manager Joe Schoen.

“Worth noting that Robinson was lauded as a veteran presence with the [Pittsburgh] Steelers,” media member Art Stapleton relayed on X. “He was a cap casualty, but indications were Pittsburgh wanted to keep him at a reduced rate.”

WFAN’s NYG correspondent Paul Dottino also noted that “Robinson [has] always used his frame well for contested catches and does a good job blocking in the run game.” He reiterated Stapleton’s thoughts about Robinson’s leadership as well, adding that the 6-foot-2 target had “experience in the big slot last year.”

Could Allen Robinson Act as Darren Waller Insurance?

With all this talk about Robinson replacing Slayton, Dottino’s remarks bring about a different conversation.

With how Robinson has been used as he’s gotten older — for contested catches, run blocking and work in the slot — is it possible the Giants are signing him as Darren Waller insurance?

Waller has contemplated retirement all spring, and the longer he waits to reveal his decision, the more worrisome this situation becomes. Big Blue did draft a very similar tight end in Theo Johnson out of Penn State, but there’s no telling if the rookie will be ready to contribute in 2024.

Instead, perhaps Robinson could help fill the role. Waller is more of a wide receiver than a tight end at this point in his career anyway, so there might be more of a crossover than meets the eye.

With Robinson and Johnson as the receiving TEs and/or big slots, NYG would then have Daniel Bellinger and either Chris Manhertz or Jack Stoll available for any in-line action. At the very least, that would be a creative alternative that gets Robinson and Slayton on the field at the same time.

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