JANUARY 10: After the explosive report about Martindale cursing out Daboll and storming out of the Giants’ facility, the sides engaged in a multiday standoff. But this long-rumored separation is now official. The Giants announced Wednesday they have split with Martindale, who was signed through 2024.
The Giants have let Martindale out of his contract and will save some money in doing so. The team will no longer owe Martindale $3MM for the 2024 season, ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan tweets. New York no longer has the ability to block a Martindale DC move elsewhere; he is a coaching free agent again.
JANUARY 8: Brian Daboll presented comments to the contrary earlier today, but Don Martindale‘s time as defensive coordinator of the Giants could soon be over. The latter is not expected to remain in place for 2024, report ESPN’s Jordan Raanan as well as Dianna Russini of The Athletic.
Indeed, Martindale has now resigned, per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. The veteran staffer will head elsewhere in pursuit of both DC and head coaching opportunities. When speaking to the media earlier on Monday, Daboll said he expected both Martindale and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka to remain in their posts. The former has instead chosen to move on.
Martindale enjoyed a successful debut season in New York, as did Daboll and the rest of the team’s staff. The Giants’ defense played a crucial role in their surprising run to the divisional round of the postseason last year, and expectations were high entering 2023 for all involved. The team took a notable step back this year, however, and a reported rift emerged between Martindale and Daboll.
On a number of occasions, both coaches made attempts to downplay the significance of the report, stating that their relationship was seen as being strained only due to the team’s lack of performance. Martindale made it clear his future was uncertain, but he also stated an intention of continuing to work with Daboll in New York for 2024 and beyond. Instead, he will now start over once again.
The 60-year-old spent one year as the Broncos’ DC before a lengthy tenure with the Ravens. Initially joining Baltimore’s staff as a linebackers coach, Martindale was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2018. His time in that role produced three straight seasons as a top-seven unit in terms of both points and yards allowed per game. Regression in 2021 led to a parting of ways, however.
That led Martindale to New York, a stint which has now proven to be rather short-lived. The Giants did not fare well in most defensive categories in 2023, but a larger share of the blame has been laid at the feet of the offense. Generally known for being well-liked amongst his players, Martindale profiled as a logical candidate to be retained in the event Daboll elected to keep much of his staff intact. Since his announcement this morning, however, offensive line coach Drew Wilkins and defensive assistant Kevin Wilkins have been let go. Both brothers have a history with Martindale, who like them will have a new home by next season.
With most of New York’s staffing changes coming on special teams and defense, Kafka may very well still be retained through the offseason. However, both Martindale and ST coordinator Thomas McGaughey are not out of the fold, meaning Daboll will have a number of signficant additions to make to his staff over the coming days and weeks.