Like every other team in the NFL, the New York Giants began voluntary offseason workouts this week. But, there was one notable player absent: Wide receiver Darius Slayton. The pass-catcher is seeking a new contract and has decided to skip the program as a result, via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.

This is a very notable absence for the G-Men. Slayton was their top wideout last year and has been almost every season for the previous five. The 27-year-old reeled in 50 receptions for 770 yards and four touchdowns in 2023, managing to play well even without Daniel Jones healthy.

Before last season, Slayton inked a two-year deal worth $12.2 million and as Raanan noted, he'll make just over $6 million in 2024.

Darius Slayton a valuable piece for Giants

It would obviously be more concerning if Slayton skipped mandatory workouts but regardless, this isn't great for the Giants. Players do this quite often in hopes of getting paid and Slayton has proven that he deserves to get a bag. Even though the New York offense has struggled in recent years, he's managed to always put up respectable numbers.

The franchise took Slayton in the fifth round in the 2019 draft out of Auburn and he quickly made his presence felt. The WR had 48 catches for 740 yards and a career-best eight touchdowns in his rookie campaign. There have been times when he struggled with holding onto the football, but Slayton has worked tirelessly to become a top option for the Giants again.

That being said, NY has the No. 6 pick in the upcoming draft and there's strong belief they could select a WR1, with LSU star Malik Nabers one of the big names on their radar. Jalin Hyatt is also expected to have an increased role in Year 2, which may decrease the number of targets Darius Slayton gets.

On the other hand, there is the possibility that Darren Waller could still retire, which may leave the Giants thin on pass-catchers, making Slayton important. Plus, Danny Dimes, who is on track to return from injury for Week 1, likes Slayton. That has to mean something to the organization.

Based on other deals as Raanan pointed out, Darius Slayton is clearly underpaid. Guys like Gabe Davis and Darnell Mooney are getting paid more despite worse numbers. It's understandable why he's seeking more stability and a bigger paycheck. He deserves it.

The Giants are coming off a tough 6-11 season where Jones was injured for most of the campaign. As previously mentioned, their offense was lackluster. Losing Saquon Barkley to free agency definitely hurt, so they will be hoping to strengthen the roster through the draft.

It will be very interesting to see if Slayton gets that new deal before the season begins.