Kevin Abrams

East Notes: Patriots, Brady, Giants, Cowboys

Tom Brady recently told Oprah that he’ll retire sooner rather than later, but he may still be on course for his original plan. In a reply to a post on Instagram regarding Brady’s long-term plans, the Patriots quarterback replied “cuarenta y cinco” – Spanish for 45.

Brady turns 41 on Aug. 3, so he still has a ways to go before hitting that mark. Still, after another masterful season, it’s hard to doubt him.

Here’s more from the East divisions:

  • New Cowboys assistant Kris Richard is drawing rave reviews in Dallas and he could become one of the league’s hottest head coaching candidates next year. “No question,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said when asked if the 38-year-old could coach his own team in 2019 (via Charean Williams of PFT). “He’ll be like a Mike Tomlin, Lovie Smith, guys I’ve been around who became head coaches. He’s got the right stuff.”
  • Giants executive Kevin Abrams, a member of the organization since 1999 and the assistant GM for the last 16 years, has been promoted to the team’s vice president of football operations. Abrams was considered as an internal candidate for GM before the hiring of Dave Gettleman.
  • Free agent wide receiver Eric Decker feels that he would be a good fit for the Patriots.

Latest On Giants’ Coaching Search

Once thought to be the Giants’ No. 1 candidate, Jim Schwartz looks like he will be a bit behind in Big Blue’s search.

The Eagles’ DC received an interview request, but the sides have yet to schedule said summit, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). If nothing transpires by Sunday, the Giants will have to wait until the Eagles are eliminated to meet with Schwartz. Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter) the Giants don’t have a Sunday interview scheduled; he labels Schwartz as being on the back-burner.

While waiting hasn’t been a deal-breaker for some teams in the past, the Giants and Schwartz — attached in rumors for weeks — not conducting an interview before he prepares for Philadelphia’s divisional-round game could cause the team to pivot away from the former Lions boss. The Eagles are not a highly regarded No. 1 seed presently, but in a hotly contested coaching market that’s seen three Giants interviewees also take meetings elsewhere, the team could opt to move forward with other candidates to stave off competitors. Schwartz has met with the Cardinals about their HC vacancy.

Big Blue has already met with Steve Spagnuolo, Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia and Pat Shurmur, whom Raanan notes (on Twitter) interviewed Saturday. The Giants still plan to meet with both Eric Studesville and Steve Wilks early next week, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv tweets. The Carolina DC would be eligible to meet with New York’s representatives after the Panthers-Saints game, whether his team wins or loses.

Dave Gettleman, John Mara and assistant GM Kevin Abrams are meeting with the HC candidates, per Vacchiano (on Twitter), who adds co-owner Steve Tisch will meet with candidates as the team moves closer to a final decision.

Assistant GM Kevin Abrams Likely To Stay With The Giants

The Giants announced today that they’ve hired former Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman to lead the team’s football operations for the foreseeable future. However, just because the team has brought in a new face to be the head of the front office, doesn’t mean all of the previous decision makers will be on their way out the door. It’s expected that Gettleman will keep current assistant general manager Kevin Abrams on board for next season, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link).

Dave Gettleman (vertical)

Abrams was one of two internal candidates to interview for the general manager position. Marc Ross, the team’s vice president of player evaluation, also spoke to ownership, although nothing has been reported as of yet in regards to his future.

As the presumptive number two in command under former GM Jerry Reese, Abrams was primarily involved with the team’s working of the cap, which will help him to remain a crucial part of the Giants decision making process this offseason. Abrams has been with the organization for past 16 years, so he should help make Gettleman’s transition into the lead role a lot smoother in the weeks ahead.

Gettleman offers experience and a track record as the leader of a front office, but Abrams should continue to have a major footprint in how the team conducts its business in the months to come.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Notes: Abrams, Apple, Shepard, JPP

The Giants interviewed interim general manager Kevin Abrams for the team’s full-time position yesterday, lengthening a list of candidates that already includes Giants VP of player personnel Marc Ross, former Giants executive Dave Gettleman and ESPN analyst Louis Riddick. While Abrams had spent the majority of his career as a salary cap guru, he’s focused on proving that he can also build a winning roster.

“My role has been more than just doing the cap stuff,” Abrams told Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.TV. “I wasn’t raised to be a cap guy. It was just the opportunity that was given to me and I was grateful of the opportunity. And the Giants do a great job with everyone — not just me, but we’re all encouraged to grow professionally. And like everyone else, I was getting a lot of opportunities to do that and I tried to take advantage of them whenever I could. A lot of that included being involved with our personnel departments.”

While Giants owner John Mara may be seeking major “wholesale changes,” sources told Vacchiano that Abrams is a serious candidate for the gig. The writer notes that the organization could choose to pair the interim general manager with someone like Gettleman.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from the Giants organization…

  • While many attributed cornerback Eli Apple‘s tumultuous season to immaturity, Dan Duggan of NJ.com explored the true root of the player’s issues. Ultimately, the reporter attributed the problems to “strife in Apple’s family,” particularly a falling out with his stepfather, Tim. “One of the biggest reasons Eli is declining so much this year as opposed to last year is (Tim’s absence),” Apple’s half-brother Dane Blackson said. “I know everyone always talks about the fame and all of the attention and how all of that can go to your head. But you have to imagine that from middle school to the NFL, Tim was there. Tim made this whole thing happen. Tim didn’t miss a game. Whenever Eli looked for that support, that was always there. Now, this year whenever he goes to look for support, it’s not real, it’s not genuine.” Duggan dug more in Apple’s family issues in a must-read article.
  • While the 2017 season hasn’t gone as planned for the Giants, one player has emerged as a major piece of the organization’s future. Zach Braziller of The New York Post writes that wideout Sterling Shepard has emerged as a “a future organizational linchpin.” The 2016 second-round pick is on pace to surpass his rookie numbers, as he’s hauled in 54 receptions for 686 yards and two scores. “I was ready to take it on,” Shepard said of the added responsibility. “You don’t expect for your top two receivers to go down. It kind of just throws a lot of weight on you. I’m a second-year player but kind of forced to take that leadership role because I’m the guy in that room with the most experience.”
  • Jason Pierre-Paul revealed that he’s recovering from a broken finger, although he expects to play this weekend against the Cardinals. Neil Best of Newsday.com believes the defensive end suffered the injury during his early-December matchup against the Raiders.

Giants To Interview Kevin Abrams On Friday

The Giants will interview interim general manager Kevin Abrams for the club’s full-time position on Friday, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. Abrams will become the fourth candidate to interview for the job, joining ex-Panthers GM Dave Gettleman, Giants vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross, and ESPN commentator Louis Riddick.

Abrams, who has spent 16 seasons as the Giants’ assistant general manager, has reportedly been endorsed by former New York GM Ernie Accorsi, tweets Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Accorsi, who is advising the Giants as they search for a Jerry Reese replacement, also has close ties with Gettleman, who is considered the frontrunner for the vacancy.

The Giants could conceivably retain Abrams as general manager and hire Gettleman with a “personnel chief” title, opines Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). Although Garafolo appears to be speculating and not reporting, such an arrangement could make sense. Gettleman’s ouster from Carolina was reportedly tied to his communication issues and gruff style, so assigning more interpersonal issues to Abrams could be a perfect compromise.

Meanwhile, if Riddick is chosen as the Giants’ new GM, he’s expected to attempt to hire Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as the club’s head coach. Riddick and McDaniels were reportedly viewed as a “package deal” during the hiring cycle earlier this year.

Giants Interview Marc Ross For GM Job

The Giants announced that they have interviewed Marc Ross for their GM vacancy. Ross has spent more than a decade with the organization, including the last five years as the Giants’ vice president of player evaluation.

Ross’ job places him in charge of the Giants’ college scouting department and the team’s draft. He is said to be among the team’s leading internal candidates for the job, along with interim GM Kevin Abrams. It is expected that Abrams and former Panthers GM Dave Gettleman will also interview this week, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

It has been suggested that George Paton (Vikings), Eliot Wolf (Packers), and Joe Douglas (Eagles) could also be among those considered. For now, Ross, Abrams, and Gettleman are the only executives confirmed to have interviews scheduled.

Ross was among the Fritz Pollard Alliance’s suggested candidates for GM jobs last year, though he was not on the list this season.

Giants To Interview Interim GM Kevin Abrams

Giants interim general manager Kevin Abrams confirmed he will interview for the full-time job, reports Newsday’s Tom Rock.

A longtime assistant to former GM Jerry Reese, who was fired on Dec. 4, Abrams is expected to meet with owners John Mara and Steve Tisch some time next week though Abrams only confirmed it will take place before the season is over.

One piece of information that gives Abrams a leg up on the competition is the fact New York hasn’t hired a GM from outside the organization since it tabbed George Young in 1979. Abrams joined the Giants 15 years ago and has worked prevalently with the salary cap, though he claims, “I wasn’t raised to be a cap guy; it was just the opportunity that was given to me.”

Shortly after the firing of Reese, who had served as GM since 2007, the MMQB’s Peter King talked with several NFL executives who named Minnesota’s George Paton, Green Bay’s Eliot Wolf and Philadelphia’s Joe Douglas as three of the top new candidates from around the league. He also mentioned former Chiefs GM Scott Pioli and Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta among the veterans who could surface in the search.

Giants To Start GM Interviews Next Week

The Giants are expected to start GM interviews next week, according to Judy Battista of NFL.com (on Twitter). However, they are unlikely to name one before end of the season for fear of missing out on candidates currently with teams. Giants Helmet (Featured)

After Jerry Reese was let go, the Giants did not rule out the possibility of signing his replacement before the end of the calendar year. However, that was always a longshot. By waiting until the offseason, the Giants will give themselves an opportunity to gauge a wider range of executives and give themselves additional time to make the right hire.

The Giants are expected to start with former Panthers GM/Giants exec Dave Gettleman and their own interim GM Kevin Abrams, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (on Twitter). After that, he hears that the Giants will likely meet with two or three other candidates in early January.

Gettleman is said to be the frontrunner for the job, though Abrams will also be given a legitimate chance to be the team’s GM going forward. It sounds like former Chiefs GM John Dorsey also would have been in the mix for the job if the Browns did not pounce on him first.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dave Gettleman Is Giants’ Top Choice For GM

We have heard over the past several days that former Panthers GM Dave Gettleman is emerging as a frontrunner for the Giants’ newly-available GM job, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says that Gettleman is currently the team’s first choice to permanently replace longtime decision-maker Jerry Reese. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports hears the same thing, and he says it would be an upset if someone other than Gettleman got the job.

Dave Gettleman

As Rapoport observes, Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch almost always hire individuals with ties to the organization, and Gettleman served as the Pro Personnel Director and the Senior Pro Personnel Analyst with Big Blue before he was hired by Carolina in 2013.

Gettleman was able to get the Panthers out of salary-cap hell and lead the team to the playoffs in each of his first three years in Carolina, including an appearance in Super Bowl 50. Carolina finished 6-10 last season but is back in the playoff hunt in 2017 with a roster largely constructed by Gettleman, which is why his ouster in July was so jarring and why it is no surprise to see him back in the GM conversation so quickly. Rapoport notes that Gettleman has stayed in touch with friend and confidant Ernie Accorsi, who is serving as the Giants’ consultant for their search.

New York, though, does plan to give interim GM Kevin Abrams a legitimate chance to win the job. Rapoport and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com report that the Giants also planned to interview former Chiefs GM John Dorsey before the Browns swooped in and hired him (which is perhaps why Cleveland acted as swiftly as it did).

The Giants want to hire a GM before hiring a head coach. If the team hires Gettleman, current Panthers DC Steve Wilks will get serious consideration for New York’s head coaching job, although the desirability of that position will draw a host of top-tier candidates.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Cowboys, Giants, Hackenberg, Jets

Jerry Jones offered a measured response to Roger Goodell‘s new extension when asked about it on Friday morning.

“No, I don’t really [have any comment],” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan (transcript via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News). “We’re having a very important [owners] meeting here in Dallas next week beginning Wednesday. That’s very meaningful. I’m looking forward to that. That’ll be very meaningful as we go forward. One of the things that I think that has been mentioned is any role that I might have had in the extension of Roger. As you know, I’ve been on both ends of it as far as any criticism. It’s been my experience in 30 years in the NFL that to make change and to make positive change — every time we all strive to make the NFL better, I include every owner with that — it’s hard. It’s very, very hard. If you really want to make some changes, you usually end up getting a lot of criticism along the way. It’s happened every time with me when we’ve had meaningful change. … We’ll see how it goes forward, but there’s nothing that has surprised me here.”

While Jones seethes behind closed doors, let’s take a look at the latest from the East divisions:

  • Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com spoke with people around the league to size up some potential candidates for the Giants‘ GM vacancy. The names he’s hearing include Eliot Wolf (Packers), Nick Caserio (Patriots), Scott Pioli (Falcons), Trent Kirchner (Seahawks), Dave Gettleman (ex-Panthers GM), Louis Riddick (currently with ESPN), and internal candidates Kevin Abrams and Marc Ross.
  • Can Christian Hackenberg still be the Jets‘ quarterback of the future? The former second round pick has yet to see the field, but Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News won’t rule out the possibility that he could be in the mix next season. For his part, Hackenberg admits that he is anxious to take an NFL snap. “In order to grow and learn, you need to get hit in your mouth,” Hackenberg said. “You need to fail. Then you grow from that. There’s really no intimidation. I got to experience things. I felt like I experienced a lot of really good things this preseason and some things I need to learn from. That’s all part of the process. If you don’t experience both ends of the spectrum, you’re not getting everything out of the adventure.”