Jerry Reese

Latest On Giants’ Pat Shurmur Hire

A difference between how Pat Shurmur approached his Giants interview helped land him the job. The former Vikings OC conducted his Giants meeting in a fashion that left no doubt the Giants were his first choice, which is something, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, team management couldn’t see in Josh McDaniels or Matt Patricia.

While Vacchiano reports some in the Giants’ organization preferred the two Patriots coordinators to Shurmur “until the very end,” he notes Shurmur left “by far” the strongest first impression on the Giants of the candidates summoned. One of the reasons management was sold on Shurmur was his desire to land the Giants’ job was far more evident than the other finalists’. Vacchiano writes McDaniels appeared to be more interested in the Colts’ job because of Andrew Luck‘s presence, and Patricia’s Lions connection turned out to be very real.

Multiple sources informed Vacchiano that Shurmur was at one point viewed as the favorite in Arizona and that his personality would work better there, but the former Browns coach, per the Giants, was intent on securing the New York job.

Shurmur’s interview, one John Mara ranked as arguably the best he’s seen, resulted in him edging the New England assistants after they’d been viewed as previous favorites. Shurmur also made the strongest connection with Dave Gettleman of the six candidates interviewed, which is interesting given Steve Wilks‘ history with the new Giants GM. Vacchiano notes Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin did not see eye to eye on key components of the team in their final years together, with a specific disagreement involving the team’s offensive line approach, and adds Mara appeared to indicate Reese and Ben McAdoo weren’t meshing as well as they’d hoped to.

Mara indicated a head coach/GM partnership was critical here, and Shurmur — who made a point of saying how much stock he places in repairing the Giants’ offensive front — appears to be in stride with Gettleman at this point.

Mara previously said he wanted a head coach with previous experience leading a team, and Vacchiano reports Shurmur was “much more willing” to accept his wrongdoings from his first job (with the 2011-12 Browns) than McDaniels (fired midway through his second Broncos season in 2010) was. Shurmur made clear he will hire an offensive coordinator, identifying that as a mistake from his first Cleveland campaign. The Giants ultimately ruled out Wilks because of his lack of experience.

Shurmur also spoke with Eli Manning on the phone on Wednesday from the Senior Bowl and then sat down with the franchise passer in the Giants’ cafeteria on Friday, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports. Considering Gettleman’s praise for Manning, and what Shurmur offered about the quarterback’s future at his press conference, it’s starting to look like a strong bet he will be back in New York for his age-37 season.

Schwartz writes Shurmur’s approach with Manning differs from Coughlin’s with Kerry Collins, whom the Giants replaced with Manning in 2004. Coughlin ignored Collins when they saw each other at the facility during the months his and Collins’ tenures overlapped in ’04, Schwartz recalls.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Giants’ Coach, GM Search

Ben McAdoo‘s stint in New York was short and ended without a championship, but he did make history in his own way. McAdoo was at the helm for just 28 regular-season games, giving him the lowest total by a Giants head coach since 1930 (as noted by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, via Twitter). In that season, Benny Friedman spent two games as a co-player-coach.

Starting today, the Giants are officially looking to fill vacancies at head coach and GM. Here’s the latest out of New York/New Jersey:

  • Giants owner John Mara says his “very strong preference” is to have a separate head coach and GM. However, he does not rule out a dual role if the right candidate emerges (Twitter link via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY).
  • Mara says that both interim hires (GM Kevin Abrams and head coach Steve Spagnuolo) will be interviewed for the full-time jobs (Twitter link via Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com). Personally, I don’t think the odds are in Spagnuolo’s favor, even though he is well-regarded by the organization. After a disastrous 2017 season, it seems more likely that the Giants will opt for a reset when it comes to the next head coach.
  • Reese was not responsible for the firing of Tom Coughlin and subsequent hiring of McAdoo, Kinkhabwala tweets. When Coughlin was fired, Reese advocated for two candidates over McAdoo.
  • Former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi has agreed to serve as a consultant in the GM search, Mara announced (Twitter link via team). The owner added that it is possible that a GM hire will be made before the season is through, noting that the team already has some names in mind (Twitter link via Kinkhabwala).
  • Mara says that McAdoo is the one who initially came up with the plan to bench Eli Manning (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson).

Giants Fire GM Jerry Reese

The Giants are now in search of both a new head coach and a general manager. The Giants have fired GM Jerry Reese, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (on Twitter). Jerry Reese (vertical)

[RELATED: Giants Fire Ben McAdoo]

There is precedent for head coaches and GMs to be fired on the same day, but not necessarily during the season. In one fell swoop, the Giants have canned coach Ben McAdoo as well as the man who constructed his roster.

This season has been incredibly disappointing for the organization and our fans, and while it would be ideal to make these kinds of decisions at the conclusion of the season, we simply felt now is the time to prepare for a fresh start,” owner John Mara said in a statement released by the team. “I have great respect for both Jerry and Ben. Jerry has worked tirelessly for this franchise for 23 years. He has always communicated in a straight forward and honest manner.”

Although the Giants have enjoyed great success during Reese’s tenure – including two Super Bowl championships – he has made some perceived blunders in recent years. His timidity in moving up on draft day has left the Giants with some serious busts in the top rounds. This past offseason, he failed to strengthen the Giants’ offensive line even though it was one of the team’s most glaring needs.

Reese has been with the Giants organization since 1994, meaning that he’ll have to find a job elsewhere for the first time in 23 years. Ten years after coming on board as a scout, Reese became the team’s Director of Pro Personnel in 2004. Then, in 2007, he was promoted to GM.

Giants’ assistant general manager Kevin Abrams will take over as GM for the rest of the season, a person with knowledge of team’s moves tells Kinkhabwala (Twitter link). Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has been appointed as the team’s new interim head coach.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Owner John Mara On Eli Manning

The Giants’ decision to bench Eli Manning on Sunday ignited a firestorm of controversy in the football world. On Wednesday, owner John Mara addressed reporters directly to discuss the future of the team’s quarterback position as well as the job security of head coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese. Here’s a look at the highlights with all links going to Twitter: John Mara (vertical)

  • Mara says the Giants “obviously have some decisions to make this offseason” when it comes to the head coach and GM positions (link via Tom Rock of Newsday). Some say that McAdoo has lost control of the locker room, as underscored by the team’s saga with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie earlier this year. Meanwhile, Reese has been criticized for failing to build the team through the draft in recent years.
  • Mara is adamant that the original plan was for Manning to play on Sunday, but perhaps not for the whole game (link via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com). However, he says he understands why Manning wasn’t on board and admitted that it probably could have been handled differently.
  • I don’t think you should be writing his obituary just yet,” Mara said when asked about Manning’s future in New York (link via Raanan). Still, the Giants have a big decision to make before March 14th, the date that Manning’s $5MM roster bonus comes due.
  • Mara says he first suggested to Reese a week or two ago that it might be time to look at other quarterbacks (link via Raanan).
  • Any suggestion that the Giants are tanking is “complete [B.S.],” Mara says (link via James Kratch of NJ.com). A reminder: The Giants are 2-9 and will start Geno Smith under center on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Fallout From Eli Manning Benching

The second-longest start streak in quarterback history will come to an end after the Giants decided to bench Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith. This naturally leads to speculation that the 36-year-old quarterback has played his final down with the team. In his Tuesday press conference, Ben McAdoo did not specify the role Jerry Reese and John Mara played in making the move to bench Manning, via Ed Werder (on Twitter). McAdoo merely said all parties were in agreement. The second-year Giants coach also said the team is not considering waiving Manning, who has two years and more than $40MM remaining on his contract. Smith is not under contract beyond 2017.

Here’s more from the Giants cutting the cord on Manning after 210 starts.

  • Tom Coughlin came out in support of his former quarterback and said he was “very upset” to hear the news Manning had been benched. “My sentiments are totally with Eli Manning,” the Jaguars‘ executive VP said (via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo, on Twitter). “I love the kid. He is a class act. He is a two-time Super Bowl champion. He is the finest, most humblest young man in that locker room. I haven’t followed the Giants. I know it’s a disappointing year by my thoughts are strictly with Eli. I’m very upset about when I heard that.” This stands to naturally fuel buzz about Manning being a 2018 Jaguars target. Coughlin running the Jags, who can cut bait on Blake Bortles‘ non-guaranteed 2018 option before free agency, and their rebuilt defense thriving makes north Florida a logical fit.
  • Manning has a no-trade clause in his contract, but after Tuesday’s events, the two-time Super Bowl MVP may be more inclined to waive it for a chance at another starting job. Conor Orr of SI.com lists the Jaguars as a fit, while placing the Broncos and Cardinals as the other top two destinations. The Broncos are in a similar place to the Jags, only with their quarterback woes having removed them from a Super Bowl perch, and the Cardinals will likely again be waiting on a Carson Palmer retirement decision. The Palmer-to-Manning switch would be interesting given that Palmer is only a month older than Manning.
  • As for a Manning/Coughlin reunion, Joel Corry of CBS Sports tweets the Jags could create $19MM in cap space by cutting Bortles after this season. That option doesn’t become fully guaranteed until Day 5 of the 2018 league year (March 14). Prior to a Bortles cut, the Jags have just more than $30MM in projected 2018 cap space. The Broncos have $32MM-plus, and the Cardinals — with Palmer’s 2018 salary on their books as of now — stand to hold more than $35MM.
  • This decision was certainly brought down from higher than McAdoo, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com writes, and the current HC feels like the next scapegoat for the Giants’ woeful season. Reese should be on the chopping block as well, Graziano writes, noting that were that to happen, there would be front office and scouting department turnover as well as a likely McAdoo ouster.
  • Manning will be due a $5MM roster bonus on March 14 if he’s still on the Giants, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Yates adds the Giants can save $9.8MM if Manning is cut or traded, but they’ll be taking on $12.4MM in that scenario. Manning has a $22.2MM cap figure in 2018 and a $23.2MM number in ’19. Manning’s $10.5MM base salary next season is non-guaranteed.

La Canfora’s Latest: Bills, P. Manning, Giants, Goodell

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor is likely to be an attractive trade chip this offseason due to his relative youth, upside, and athleticism (not to mention his reasonable salary). Taylor is due a $6MM roster bonus in the first week of free agency this March, and even when he inked his current deal, it was speculated that Buffalo could cut Taylor before having to pay out that bonus. So while teams theoretically could wait for the Bills to release Taylor — they did just bench him, after all — La Canfora’s sources indicate that the ability to land him at a reasonable contract and secure his rights for at least 2018 would lead to someone giving Buffalo something of reasonable value.

Indeed, aside from the $6MM roster bonus, Taylor is owed a fairly modest $10MM base salary, and it’s not as if the free agent QB market is likely to set the world on fire. Plus, there will be plenty of teams who are unable to address their QB needs in the draft. La Canfora names the Jaguars, Broncos, Cardinals, and Saints as potential landing spots for Taylor, and he says the Bills will be doing their own homework on the 2018 quarterback draft class. He also says the Bills could continue to look to trade Cordy Glenn this offseason.

Now for more from La Canfora, who has again treated us to a bevy of Sunday morning notes:

  • Taylor might draw plenty of trade interest this offseason, but La Canfora writes that the Bills had been weighing the decision to start Nathan Peterman over Taylor for weeks, and the team’s slow starts and inability to throw the ball downfield ultimately forced the change.
  • We have heard plenty of speculation about the Browns‘ desire to bring future Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning on board in some sort of high-level capacity, and La Canfora writes that club owner Jimmy Haslam is serious about recruiting Manning and could be willing to offer him a small stake in the team as incentive to take on a team president/top executive role.
  • Although Giants ownership recently indicated that head coach Ben McAdoo would at least get the opportunity to finish out the season before they make a decision on his future with the club, La Canfora says the club’s evaluation will not be limited to the coaching staff. He believes ownership could also make changes to the personnel side of team operations, suggesting that GM Jerry Reese could be on the hot seat.
  • La Canfora says that Roger Goodell never demanded $50MM per year and use of a private jet for life as part of his contract extension, as was reported last week. Instead, the structure that Goodell agreed to weeks ago will pay him a base salary of $20MM per year, with a chance to hit $200MM over five years if all incentives are met (Goodell had been earning about $40MM per year under his present contract). His new deal is still awaiting a formal signing/announcement.

Latest on Ben McAdoo’s Job Security

The Giants helped end the 49ers winless season when they lost to the previously defeated team, 31-21, this afternoon. The defeat had many in the media pointing to just how long of a leash head coach Ben McAdoo had as the leader of this team. Obviously, McAdoo is only in his second season on the job, the first of which he led New York to their first playoff birth since their 2012 Super Bowl run. But we all know job security for NFL coaches is a fickle proposition to begin with, and at 1-8, the Giants will have to start to answer these hot seat questions with some regularity until a definitive answer is given.

Ben McAdoo (Vertical)

General manager Jerry Reese chose not to make a comment about his head coach’s job security after today’s loss, reports James Kratch of NJ Advanced Media (Twitter link). It’s not unusual for NFL executives to not comment on specific decisions if those decisions haven’t been made yet, but it’s worth noting that the general manager did not go out of his way to defend his coach either.

On the other end of the spectrum, one of the better players on the team, safety Landon Collins, offered strong words of support for McAdoo. “He needs to be the coach next year,” said the All-pro safety (via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post).

While many players didn’t necessarily offer the same type of backing for their head coach, they did express a lot of disappointment with the way things unfolded in San Francisco, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com passed along after the game.

Starting offensive lineman Justin Pugh said of the defeat that, “Lose to an 0-9 team, it doesn’t get much worse than that,” (via Raanan). Star pass rusher Olivier Vernon was even more simple in responding to reporters, calling the loss “embarrassing” (via Raanan).

McAdoo himself didn’t really address his current job situation during his postgame press conference, opting to focus on what unfolded on the field and looking forward to next week.

McAdoo said of his job security that he, “doesn’t have anything to do with anything,” and that he’s not really worried about his hold on his head coach title, according to Raanan (Twitter link).

 There’s more smoke then fire here at this point, but with the Giants scuffling almost as much as any team in the NFL, the front office will be facing added pressure to address the situation if the team keeps losing, which seems likely given the lack of key offensive performers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall along with a defense that has regressed considerably from being on of the league’s best a year ago.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Won’t Make Coaching Change In 2017

The Giant don’t intend to make changes to their coaching staff or front office during the 2017 season, a source tells Dan Graziano of ESPN.com. As such, head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese should be safe until the offseason.Ben McAdoo (Vertical)

While some New York players have reportedly voiced negative opinions on McAdoo, Giants ownership considers those anonymous comments the “normal griping” that comes with a losing campaign, per Graziano. Whether or not McAdoo has lost the team’s locker room, the Giants want to view the 2017 season as a whole, and won’t make a judgement until the year is complete.

Reese theoretically isn’t guaranteed to keep his job once the season concludes, either, but he’s been with the Giants since 1994 (and been the team’s GM since 2007), which could make a break all the more difficult. But Reese has failed to accrue depth on New York’s roster in recent seasons. The Giants’ front office has a mandate to find the team’s next quarterback, but Reese may not be part of that effort.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Front Office Notes: Jets, Giants, Titans, Lions

Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan filled his season-ending press conference with “generalities and overall nothingness,” writes Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Still, the executive did elaborate on several topics, including free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

“We’d like very much to get him back… We’ll see how this thing works out.”

Bryce [Petty] has made a lot of progress. We’re kind of excited to have another offseason with him… With Geno [Smith], he’s under contract. We like the progress he’s made.”

Maccagnan also noted that “it’s not impossible” to keep all of their top defensive linemen, including Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Damon Harrison and Leonard Williams.

Let’s check out some more notes from the league’s front offices…

  • Giants general manager Jerry Reese understands that it’s his job to improve the roster, and he said he puts it on himself if the team doesn’t perform well. “At the end of the day, it’s my responsibility,” he said (via Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News). “If somebody doesn’t get it right, if somebody doesn’t pan out, it’s the GM’s responsibility.”
  • While candidates have been interviewing for the Titans head coach vacancy, ownership has made it clear that they have no desire to sell the team, tweets ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
  • The Lions have fired senior personnel executive Scott McEwen, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter). The former Director of College Scouting was the longest tenured scout in the organization.
  • According to Schefter (on Twitter), the Lions have hired Kyle O’Brien as their Director of Player Personnel.

East Notes: Gase, Giants, Eagles

Before the Dolphins reached out to Adam Gase about their head coaching vacancy, owner Stephen Ross sought advice from around the NFL on possible solutions for the position. Gase’s name kept coming up during the process, which helped lead the Dolphins to pursue him. After spending time with Gase this week, Ross became sold on the 37-year-old, writes Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald.

The Dolphins hired Gase on Saturday, but the job was his to lose two days earlier, according to Beasley. Gase “wowed” Ross and his advisers during an informal interview Wednesday on Ross’ private jet, per Beasley. The Dolphins then had Gase participate in a marathon interview Thursday as a way to assess his leadership skills. They came away impressed enough to make Gase an integral member of their franchise going forward.

Now for the latest from the NFC East:

  • If Doug Marrone gets the Giants’ head coaching job, don’t expect him to retain offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, reports Tom Rock of Newsday. That would seem to be a less-than-ideal scenario for 35-year-old quarterback Eli Manning, who combined for 65 touchdown passes and nearly 9,000 yards under McAdoo the last two seasons.
  • Speaking of the Giants, they erred in keeping general manager Jerry Reese, opines the New York Daily News’ Gary Myers, who expects Reese to lose his job if the team misses the playoffs again next season. That means the next GM would have a second-year coach forced on him. Myers believes the Giants would’ve been better off letting Reese go and hiring a new GM to select Tom Coughlin‘s replacement.
  • At the outset of their coaching search, the Eagles pursued Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Sumlin is staying put, however, Rapoport adds.