Joe Judge

2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, seven NFL teams opted to make a head coaching change. With the Texans firing David Culley on Thursday afternoon, there are now eight full-time vacancies available this year.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 1-17-21 (10:03pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Latest Details On Joe Judge’s Firing

In the aftermath of Joe Judge‘s dismissal from the Giants, new details have emerged regarding his meeting with ownership and their desire for congruency with the new general manager. Judge himself has also spoken publicly for the first time since learning his fate. 

[Related: Giants Fire Joe Judge]

Majority owner John Mara detailed his frustration with the situation in a press conference, detailing why the decision was ultimately made to fire Judge. When asked, Mara admitted that “he has never been this embarrassed by the state of his franchise”, as noted by ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. Mara noted that flashpoints such as Judge’s 11-minute post-game rant after the loss to the Bears and consecutive quarterback sneaks in the regular season finale played a small role in the decision to fire him.

Ultimately, is seems the need for a new GM drove the decision to move on from Judge more than anything else. Raanan notes that “the move to dismiss Judge seems to largely have been made to give the new GM flexibility [in the HC hiring process]”, although the team is not looking at whomever fills the two vacancies as a package deal. Mara used the word “rushed” to describe the hiring of now-retired GM Dave Gettleman in 2017, and stressed that the team’s approach will be more meticulous this time.

Still, there is a clear desire for the new coach and general manager to be “on the same page”, according to a tweet from SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. He adds that Judge talked with ownership about GM candidates, and that Judge “thought there would be even more discussions, that he’d be part of the process”. Obviously that wasn’t the case, as Mara felt the only way forward was to “completely [blow] it up and [start] all over again”, even though he believes in Judge’s abilities as a coach.

In his first public remarks since being fired, Judge issued a statement which reads in part, “I want to express how truly grateful I am for the opportunity to be the head coach of the New York Giants. Thank you to the Mara and Tisch families, to the organization and incredible support staff and to the fans… It was a privilege to represent these people during the past two years“.

With regards to the other members of his staff, he added, “I also want to express my appreciation to the coaching staff… I am proud to have worked with the group of men we had and grateful for each and every one of them”. He also addressed the players, saying, “To the current Giants players, thank you most of all… I am so proud of you, grateful for you, and I believe in you“.

Judge concluded with, “On behalf of me and my family, we leave New York with the utmost gratitude for the community, the organization, the people and the team. Thank you“. No candidates to replace him have been named as of yet.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Fire Joe Judge

After a bit of deliberation, the Giants are moving on from Joe Judge. Despite the votes of confidence the second-year HC received late this season, he is out, per USA Today’s Josina Anderson (on Twitter). The Giants announced Judge’s dismissal late Tuesday afternoon.

Judge becomes the Giants’ third straight two-and-done HC, with Judge following Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur out the door. Given the Giants’ brutal finish — a six-game losing streak in which the team was outscored 163-56 — this is not especially surprising. Judge was viewed as safe late this season, with ownership seeking new offensive staffers. That ended up not being enough. The Giants will now conduct searches to fill their HC and GM roles.

[RELATED: Dave Gettleman Announces Retirement]

Steve [Tisch] and I both believe it is in the best interest of our franchise to move in another direction,” co-owner John Mara said. “We met with Joe yesterday afternoon to discuss the state of the team. I met again with Joe this afternoon, and it was during that conversation I informed Joe of our decision. We appreciate Joe’s efforts on behalf of the organization.”

The Giants plan to hire a GM first and let that executive run the coaching search. This runs the risk of the team missing out on potential candidates, with summons going out from franchises with new HC vacancies. But the Giants do join the Bears and Vikings as teams looking to fill both HC and GM roles.

For the Giants, this comes on the heels of an ugly stretch. Daniel Jones‘ injury brought free agent QB2 Mike Glennon into action. That did not go well. The Giants lost each of their final six games by at least two scores, and Judge yanked Glennon for late-season addition Jake Fromm. Colt McCoy ended up winning two of his three starts as the Cardinals’ Kyler Murray fill-in. The Giants’ decision to make him a one-and-done backup certainly hurt the team Judge deployed by season’s end.

Big Blue finished with a minus-158 point differential, with most of that damage coming after Jones went down. That ranks as the franchise’s worst single-season differential since 1980. The Giants endured a rough patch during the 1970s, but they are currently mired in one of the worst periods in franchise history. Since its 2016 playoff qualification, New York is 22-59. The team has been unable to fill Tom Coughlin‘s post effectively, and after Gettleman hired Shurmur and Judge, a new GM will end up doing so. The Giants have requested interviews with four execs thus far.

This news comes barely two weeks after Judge delivered a lengthy, defiant address seemingly aimed at selling ownership on giving him a third season. The Giants signed the former Patriots special teams coach to a five-year contract in 2020. The team was in the playoff race until the end of the 2020 season, but it finished 6-10. Judge did not have good luck on the injury front, with Saquon Barkley missing almost all of 2020 and Jones going down with a neck issue midway through this season. Even prior to Jones’ injury, the former top-10 pick had not shown much improvement under Judge’s staff. Less than two months after firing Jason Garrett, Judge joins him in coaching free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dave Gettleman Officially Announces Retirement

It’s official: the Giants are in need of a new General Manager. The club released an announcement that Dave Gettleman has retired from his position as Senior Vice President and General Manager. 

After informing owners John Mara and Steve Tisch of his decision, Gettleman said, ““It was a privilege to serve as the general manager of the New York Giants the last four years and to have spent so many years of my career with this franchise. We obviously have not had the on-the-field success I expected, and that is disappointing. However, I have many fond memories here, including two Super Bowl victories, and I wish the team and organization only the best moving forward. There are many good people here who pour their souls into this organization. I am proud to have worked alongside them.”

In a joint statement, Mara and Tisch said, “We would like to thank Dave for his commitment to this franchise. Dave was integral in building three of our Super Bowl teams, including two championship teams, and we wish Dave, his wife Joanne and their entire family all the best in his retirement.”

It has been widely expected for quite some time that Gettleman was going to step down from his position. As a result, many names have been floated as potential replacements. Perhaps the name at the top of that list is current Assistant GM Kevin Abrams – someone who has been labelled a “strong contender” for the job. On the other hand, many believe that the club will stray from its tendency to promote from within, and that the successful candidate may not have ties with Head Coach Joe Judge.

Regarding the search for a new GM, Mara went on to say that, “We are looking for a person who demonstrates exceptional leadership and communication abilities, somebody who will oversee all aspects of our football operations, including player personnel, college scouting and coaching”. 

The Giants have become the third team with a GM vacancy, joining the Vikings and Bears after they fired Rick Spielman and Ryan Pace, respectively, on Monday. News from the morning, however, suggests that Judge will be staying on – something that had been expected throughout the Giants’ 4-13 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Joe Judge, Giants’ GM Position

The latest reporting on the matter suggests that Joe Judge will be back as the Giants’ head coach in 2022, though Judge will be required to make some changes to his offensive staff, including offensive coordinator. However, Judge may not be out of the woods just yet.

Last month, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post wrote that Judge would be back unless someone the team interviews for the soon-to-be-vacant GM post offers both a compelling reason to let Judge go and a compelling replacement for him. Even SNY.tv’s Ralph Vacchiano’s more recent report (cited in our piece linked above) mentioned that the new GM may be given the chance to “weigh in” on Judge’s status.

In that same vein, sources from other ownership groups tell Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports that they would not be surprised if Giants co-owner John Mara decides to move on from Judge, and minority owner Steve Tisch is said to be willing to consider an organizational overhaul that includes the head coaching position. However, Mara himself has thus far remained resolute in his desire to keep Judge aboard.

When GM Dave Gettleman‘s imminent ouster was first reported back in November, it was said that his replacement would ideally have a background in the Patriots’ scouting system and would have philosophies more in line with those of Judge, an ex-New England staffer. Just a month later, though, ownership’s thinking apparently changed a bit, as Schwartz wrote that a prospective GM’s preexisting ties to Judge could actually be a detriment to that person’s candidacy. Indeed, Mara reportedly wants to know what the new GM truly thinks of Judge and does not want that opinion to be influenced by prior relationships.

As for who the new GM will be, we have heard that assistant GM Kevin Abrams is a “strong contender.” That does not come as a surprise given the Giants’ penchant to hire those with connections to the franchise, though sticking with the status quo in this instance would likely incense the Big Blue fanbase. However, Vacchiano does not see Abrams as a mere extension of Gettleman despite the many years the two execs have spent together in the New York front office, and he believes Abrams would be a worthy hire despite what fans might think.

Other candidates include Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort and Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler, both of whom were with New England when Judge was there. Again, those Foxborough ties may or may not hurt Ossenfort’s and Ziegler’s case to become Giants GM, but there will be no shortage of other potential targets.

Vacchiano names former Chiefs and Browns GM John Dorsey as another candidate, and if the Giants want to go with a more experienced hand, they would be hard-pressed to do better. Fans who pay attention to front office maneuvers and the annual GM cycle will also recognize Eliot Wolf, Louis Riddick, Dave Caldwell, and Scott Pioli, who all appear on Vacchiano’s list.

Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (via Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post on Twitter) says Judge himself is pushing for Abrams to be promoted. As Schwartz pointed out, though, Judge might not have much say in the decision, and Dunleavy posits that Judge’s advocacy for Abrams means that old friends Ossenfort and Ziegler are not interested in the post.

Dunleavy also mentions Dawn Aponte as someone who might get an interview (Twitter link). Aponte’s name has not appeared on PFR pages since 2018, but she has served in high-ranking executive positions for the Jets, Browns, and Dolphins, and she currently works in the league office as the NFL’s chief administrator of football operations.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Ownership To Push For Offensive Staff Changes; Outside GM Hire Likely?

The Giants are wrapping up one of the most miserable seasons in franchise history. They are expected to have a new GM soon, with Dave Gettleman on track to step down. But Joe Judge is expected to receive a third season. Other changes should be anticipated.

Ownership keeping Judge will come with stipulations, with SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano indicating the embattled head coach will likely be asked to hire some new offensive staffers. Mainly, a new offensive coordinator would be expected to take over instead of bumping interim OC Freddie Kitchens up to a full-time play-calling role.

While Kitchens has not been given much to work with since Daniel Jones‘ injury, the Giants have lost each of their five games without Jones by at least two scores. Their latest Mike Glennon offering resulted in a minus-10-yard passing performance — the worst team total since a Chargers Ryan Leaf-quarterbacked game in 1998. Kitchens likely will not be the only offensive staffer to be axed.

Gettleman’s GM replacement also may be given a chance to determine Judge’s future in 2022, though Vacchiano adds ownership’s plan to keep Judge will likely stick. The Giants fired their previous two HCs — Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur — after two seasons. Judge would obviously enter Year 3 on a scorching-hot seat. He is 10-22 in two seasons.

The Giants also have a decades-long penchant for hiring GMs from within. Since Hall of Famer George Young came in from outside the organization in 1979, the Giants have promoted Ernie Accorsi and Jerry Reese and hired Gettleman, who had been with the Panthers but had extensive experience as a Giants exec prior to his Charlotte stay. This time, many sources indicate an outside GM hire is a “strong possibility,” Vacchiano adds.

Given Gettleman’s rough tenure, another promotion from within — such as assistant GM Kevin Abrams, who is set to be a candidate — would almost certainly not go over well with Big Blue’s fanbase. Gettleman is 19-45 as GM and is on the brink of a forced resignation. Prior to Gettleman’s arrival, the Giants missed the playoffs in five of Reese’s final six seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants’ Joe Judge Likely To Return

The Giants figure to have a new GM in 2022, but they’re likely to keep their head coach. Co-owner John Mara still plans to retain Joe Judge for next year, according to sources who spoke with SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano.

[RELATED: Giants To Consider Kevin Abrams As Next GM]

A few weeks ago I would’ve told you no chance he gets fired,” said one source. “Now? Even after (the Giants’ 37-21 loss to the Chargers on Sunday), I’d probably still say ‘No chance.’ (Mara) loves Judge. He thinks he’s found his (Bill) Belichick or (Bill) Parcells. And there’s just no way he gives up on another coach this soon.”

As Vacchiano notes, co-owner Steve Tisch will also have final word on the matter, but this jibes with what we’ve been hearing in recent weeks. Despite his 10-20 record since taking over as head coach, the Giants plan to stay patient with Judge — something they didn’t do with predecessors Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur. Judge, for his part, says he’s on board with that plan.

I’ve said this from the beginning: I’m not interested in having some kind of quick flash,” Judge said. “I’m not interested in shortcuts. I’m not interested in quick fixes. I want to do this the right way. When I took this job I made it very, very clear that I was only going to do this if we’re all committed to doing this the right way. And that’s something that’s been very clear from ownership on down.”

The Giants, down to 4-10 on the year, will wrap their season with games against the Eagles, Bears, and the Washington Football Team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Giants’ QB Daniel Jones

When the Giants announced that quarterback Daniel Jones would miss their Week 13 matchup in Miami after suffering a sprained neck, they indicated that a long-term absence could be possible. Head coach Joe Judge announced after today’s loss in Los Angeles that Jones would be seeking further tests on Monday.

Earlier this week, Judge had stated there is “no information in any way, shape, or form that leads us to think there is a threat long-term,” and that they were just waiting for him to be cleared for contact. Today’s comments don’t necessarily point to the contrary, but the announced location of Jones’s tests open speculation about the seriousness of his neck injury.

Jones will be going to New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery to see Dr. Frank Cammisa, HSS’s Chief Emeritus of Spine services and a specialist in surgery for spinal disorders. Jones has already been to Los Angeles to see orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins III, who did not clear Jones for contact before their game against the Chargers.

It’s entirely possible that the Giants are simply seeking the opinions of people at the top of their field on how best to treat a minor injury. CBS Sports had sources knowledgeable in the field explain that specialists could be trying to identify if Jones has ligament damage or a bruised spinal cord, injuries that could spell the end of Jones’s season. These sources also explain that an MRI could return positive results pointing to a much simpler recovery.

That being said, until Jones is cleared for contact and back out on the practice field, expect Mike Glennon to be starting his third straight game when the Cowboys come to town next Sunday. The Giants are hoping that Monday’s tests will point to Sunday’s matchup being the last time Glennon has to fill in for Jones.

Giants Planning To Keep Joe Judge In 2022?

Neither Ben McAdoo nor Pat Shurmur received a third season as Giants head coach, but Joe Judge is trending toward returning next season. Despite the Giants tracking toward a fifth straight season with double-digit losses, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes the league word is the team will bring back Judge in 2022.

Even if Judge stays, the Giants’ power structure will look different next year. GM Dave Gettleman is unlikely to return, and Judge recently axed offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Judge was not the driver to hire Garrett, with ownership preferring the ex-Cowboys HC for the Giants’ play-calling role. Should Judge indeed be kept, his seat will certainly be hot entering next season.

A poor Giants finish could change ownership’s plans. Three games against NFC East competition remain for the Giants, though their injury situation may not cooperate in time. Although the Giants spent big this offseason by bringing in Kenny Golladay and Adoree’ Jackson — after pricey signings of James Bradberry and Blake Martinez in 2020 — they have seen key injuries alter their plans.

The Giants are bracing for a lengthy Daniel Jones absence, which could mean the third-year quarterback is done for the year. Mike Glennon suffered a concussion Sunday, and though Judge said Wednesday (via The Athletic’s Dan Duggan, on Twitter) the offseason pickup is expected to return to make another start in Week 14, recent Bills practice squad arm Jake Fromm is close to seeing action. The team has also seen Saquon Barkley miss another sizable chunk of a season and has not had the opportunity to deploy its full receiving corps too often due to various injuries.

Judge, 40 later this month, does not call plays and is 10-18 as Giants HC. New York ranks 26th offensively and has slipped to 24th on defense. The Giants were in a strange position of being close to winning a division at 6-10 last season, but they are not exactly on the playoff radar this year. The Giants gave Judge a five-year contract, which is a year longer than McAdoo’s 2016 deal. However, the team bolted from Shurmur after two seasons of a five-year deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Parsons, McAdoo, Giants

The Cowboys are more than happy that they landed on linebacker Micah Parsons with the 12th-overall pick in this year’s draft. Parsons has started each of his 11 games for Dallas, collecting 67 tackles, nine sacks, and two forced fumbles, and he’s the runaway favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. However, if the Cowboys had had their way, they would have used their selection on a cornerback.

As Jon Machota of The Athletic writes, the team’s “original plan” was to select either South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn or Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II. However, those cornerbacks were scooped up at No. 8 and No. 9 respectively, forcing the front office to pivot. They ended up landing on the Penn State linebacker (after trading down), and the organization couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out.

Parsons explained to Machota how he continues to improve throughout his first season in the NFL.

“People always talk about the rookie wall,” Parsons said, “but I just keep climbing and climbing because I’m excited to see what’s on the other side of that wall.

“I love what we have here. I’m just so honored and blessed to represent the star and have an opportunity to be a star here.”

Some more notes out of the NFC East…

  • The Cowboys are dealing with COVID-19 cases throughout their staff, so they’ll be temporarily promoting Ben McAdoo to a coaching role, tweets NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. McAdoo, who had been serving as a “consultant to the coaches” in Dallas, will be in the coaches booth for tomorrow’s game against the Saints. The 44-year-old spent two years as the Giants head coach between 2016 and 2017, and he returned to the NFL last season when he was hired as the Jaguars QBs coach.
  • Guess who else liked Horn and Surtain? The Giants, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, but the Eagles’ decision to trade up (with the Cowboys, no less) to select wideout DeVonta Smith was the move that really threw New York’s draft into disarray. With the organization’s targets off the board, the team ultimately decided to trade with the Bears, with the Giants selecting wideout Kadarius Toney at No. 20.
  • Another Cowboys/Giants connection: Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv writes that the Joe Judge/Jason Garrett pairing in New York was always an “arranged marriage.” Co-owner John Mara was the one who pushed to add Garrett as the team’s offensive coordinator, and the former Cowboys head coach was an “outlier” on a staff that generally had connections to their head coach. Garrett was ultimately canned by Judge and the Giants in late November after the team had collected a league-low 42 touchdowns.
  • Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports opines that the Giants should go all out on Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson this offseason. The writer cites the organization’s draft capital (which, at the moment, includes picks No. 6 and No. 7), Daniel Jones‘ disappointment in New York, and Wilson’s supposed desire to play in the Big Apple. Assuming GM Dave Gettleman is out after the season, this would be a bold way for a new GM to begin their tenure, but the writer believes this would be preferable to rolling with Jones or drafting a quarterback in a weak class.