Giants Rumors

Giants To Hire Freddie Kitchens

Freddie Kitchens has landed a new job. The former Browns head coach is expected to join the Giants as their new tight ends coach, according to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports (on Twitter).

Kitchens was one-and-done as the Browns’ head coach in 2019. Under his watch, the Browns limped to a 6-10 finish. But, before that, Kitchens made a major impression in the league for his work on the Browns’ offensive coaching staff. When he took over as OC in 2018, the Baker Mayfield-led attack started to click in a major way and Kitchens was widely credited for getting Cleveland on track.

Kitchens won’t be considered for head coaching vacancies anytime soon, but he remains a well-regarded offensive coach. In New York, he’ll reunite with new head coach Joe Judge – the two men overlapped at Mississippi State.

As the Giants’ tight end coach, Kitchens will be responsible for the development of Ole Miss product Evan Engram. Engram, a 2017 first-round pick, has missed 13 games over the past two seasons, but he’s impressed while on the field. In an injury-shortened eight-game season, Engram finished 2019 with 44 catches for 467 yards and three touchdowns.

New York is also adding Mizzou offensive coordinator Derek Dooley to its offensive staff, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Dooley worked as the Cowboys’ wide receivers coach from 2013-17 before returning to the collegiate ranks. He had previously served as the head coach for Louisiana Tech and Tennessee.

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Eli Manning Open To Off-Field Giants Role

Eli Manning has not expressed interest in a coaching position, but the likely Hall of Fame quarterback has not closed the door on remaining with the Giants in another non-playing capacity. The recently retired passer said he would be interested in a role with the team going forward, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The Giants likely would not say no to such an arrangement, though it remains to be seen if Manning would consider a position immediately. If Peyton Manning‘s measured approach to post-retirement offers is any indication, it may be a while before his younger brother commits to returning to the league in a potential front office role. Manning will not land on the Giants’ reserve/retired list, as he was set to be a free agent in March. The 16-year Giant recently said he believed he could still play. So Eli might be patient before entering a post-playing role, in the event an unforeseen development opens up a starting job somewhere.

  • Although the Giants brought in ex-Cowboys coach Marc Colombo to head up their offensive line, they will keep one of Pat Shurmur‘s assistants on staff in this department. Ben Wilkerson will remain as the team’s assistant O-line coach, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. Wilkerson, 37, served in this role in each of Shurmur’s two seasons.

Giants Hire Colombo As OL Coach

  • We heard Mike Shula’s interview with the Broncos went well, and now he’s about to be hired. Shula is going to become Denver’s next quarterbacks coach, the team is just working out contract details, a source told Mike Klis of Denver 9 News (Twitter link). Specifically, Klis writes that offsets with the Giants still need to be worked out. Shula had been the Giants’ offensive coordinator before Pat Shurmur was fired, and there was apparently offset language in his contract. Prior to joining New York, Shula was the Panthers’ OC for five seasons. Shurmur has since been hired as Denver’s offensive play-caller, so obviously there’s a lot of familiarity here.
  • Speaking of former Giants coaches, New York’s former head coach Ben McAdoo left his visit with the Browns without a deal, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). Garafolo notes that it is still unclear exactly what role McAdoo was interviewing for in Cleveland. Garafolo also writes he was “in play” to be Carolina’s new quarterbacks coach.
  • Jason Garrett is re-teaming with one of his guys. The new Giants offensive coordinator will be paired back up with Marc Colombo, who is going to be New York’s new offensive line coach, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. Colombo had been Garrett’s O-line coach in Dallas. The Cowboys routinely had one of the league’s best offensive lines, so this seems like a strong hire.

Giants Won’t Place Eli Manning On Reserve/Retired List

Giants legend Eli Manning is retiring from football, but he won’t formally be placed on the league’s list of retired players, as PFT’s Mike Florio explains. It’s a small, but important distinction that could be factor should the quarterback consider coming out of retirement in 2020.

[RELATED: Eli Manning Retires From The NFL]

Manning’s contract will formally expire in March, which means the Giants cannot place Manning on the reserve/retired list, per league rules. Players on the reserve/retired list who decide to unretire after the trade deadline must go on the waiver wire first.

Manning retired, in large part, because he would not have had an opportunity to start for the Giants or any other club in 2020. But, hypothetically, a midseason injury to Daniel Jones or another QB1 could open the door for someone like Manning.

If Manning was on the list and the Giants wanted him back, they’d be subject to the same potential barriers as Rob Gronkowski. In 2019, Gronk would have had to return by Week 13 if he wanted to suit up for the Giants, because he was officially designated as a retired player. Meanwhile, Marshawn Lynch was not on the list, which paved the way for his late-season Seahawks reunion. If Manning wants to come back, he’ll have no obstacles in his way, just like Beast Mode.

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Latest On Freddie Kitchens, Giants

  • Earlier this month, we heard whispers that former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens could land with the Giants. However, Dan Duggan of The Athletic writes that the coach “isn’t a lock” to land in New York. We learned yesterday that the two sides still hadn’t finalized an agreement. Kitchens worked alongside new Giants head coach Joe Judge during their time at Mississippi State, and there was speculation that the 45-year-old could join the staff as a tight ends coach. The Browns went 6-10 during Kitchens’ lone season as their head coach, and he was canned following the regular season.
  • Before hiring Patrick Graham as their defensive coordinator, the Giants had interest in Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn, reports Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post (via Twitter). While he missed out on the gig, the 47-year-old still interviewed for another role on the Giants coaching staff today. Prior to this stint with New Orleans, the 1994 first-round pick served as the Browns assistant defensive backs coach.

Eli Manning To Retire

Giants icon Eli Manning will hold a news conference on Friday to announce his retirement, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jordan Raanan (Twitter link). Unwilling to finish his career as a backup, Manning will walk away from the sport and focus on new endeavors. 

Manning, 39, got the hook from the Giants on multiple occasions. The first time around, in 2017, he was briefly benched for one game in favor of Geno Smith. This year, he lost his job to rookie Daniel Jones and never regained his footing. The Giants’ struggles continued throughout the season, but it was an easy call for the G-Men to anoint Jones as their starter moving forward.

Things didn’t end the way Manning envisioned, but he leaves the sport after a storied NFL career that will surely land him in Canton, once he’s eligible. Manning had lots of highs across his 16-year career (and, some lows), but he’ll forever be remembered as a two-time Super Bowl winner and MVP. He’s also etched in the record books – he’s seventh all-time in passing yards, touchdowns, and completions. Another impressive feat – Manning never once missed a start due to injury.

Manning has long ranked as one of the league’s highest-paid players, too. He’s earned more than a quarter-billion dollars in football, not including endorsement money.

Manning entered the league as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 draft. The Ole Miss star famously refused to play for the Chargers and forced a trade to the Giants, where he established himself as a global superstar and stepped out of his older brother’s shadow. He’s foiled the Patriots twice, sold countless jerseys in the tri-state area, and forged a legacy that will last for decades.

For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field,” John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise’s history. He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future.

It remains to be seen whether Manning will stay involved in football. The Giants have expressed interest in giving Manning a non-playing role, but that would likely come in the form of a front office position – Manning has indicated that he is not interested in a coaching career.

I learned very early that you evaluate quarterbacks on their ability to win championships, and to do it late in a game when the game is on the line, that they’re able to take a team down the field and into the end zone to win a title,” said longtime Giants GM Ernie Accorsi said. “The second thing is to know that over a period of years, he’s always going to be there. Those kinds of quarterbacks always give you a chance to win, and for 16 years, he did that for this franchise. He won championships and he was always there giving us a chance to win. I don’t know how you can ask more from a quarterback.”

Giants, Freddie Kitchens On Hold

Since former Mississippi State coworker Joe Judge landed the Giants‘ HC job, Freddie Kitchens has been linked to a staff position. A report circulated Tuesday indicating Judge will hire Kitchens for an unspecified role (Twitter link via AL.com), but ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan tweets nothing is finalized between the Giants and the former Browns coach. The Giants have hired a quarterbacks coach, Jerry Schuplinski, but certainly could add the longtime offensive assistant in another capacity.

  • Before deciding to reunite with Scott Turner, Ron Rivera interviewed 2019 Redskins offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell for the job, J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington notes. Rivera was interested in former Giants HC Pat Shurmur for OC, but he declined the interview and opted for the Broncos’ play-calling job. O’Connell landed on his feet as well, becoming the Rams’ offensive coordinator.
  • While the Kitchens hire is not yet certain, veteran secondary coach Jerome Henderson will be joining Judge’s Giants staff, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets. Most recently the Falcons’ DBs coach/defensive passing-game coordinator, the 50-year-old Henderson has also coached the Jets’, Browns’ and Cowboys’ secondaries dating back to 2008. Henderson was a 1991 first-round pick who played eight NFL seasons.
  • The Giants will also add Jody Wright to their staff, according to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman (Twitter link). Wright worked with Judge at Mississippi State in the 2000s and was most recently an offensive assistant with the Browns under Kitchens in 2019. Wright also spent time at Alabama during the 2010s and was an assistant head coach at UAB prior to relocating to Cleveland.

Giants To Hire Bret Bielema

Another Patriots coach will join Joe Judge‘s Giants staff. Big Blue will bring in Bret Bielema, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

It is not yet known what role the former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach will play, but he will join a few ex-Patriots colleagues on Judge’s staff. Bielema was one of the Patriots’ more experienced assistants this past season, serving as New England’s defensive line coach.

The Giants made Dolphins defensive coordinator Patrick Graham as their defensive coordinator, but Bielema was under consideration for New York’s DC role. This hire then could well be for the team’s D-line coach position.

Wisconsin’s head coach from 2006-12 and Arkansas’ from 2013-17, Bielema joined Bill Belichick‘s staff as a consultant in 2018. When Brian Flores brought a few Pats assistants with him to Miami, Bielema became a position coach in New England. The 50-year-old coach served as an experienced assistant on a staff full of younger minds.

Bielema joins Judge, Graham and quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski as ex-Patriots coaches on the 2020 Giants staff. The Giants have also interviewed ex-Pats coach (and recently dismissed Dolphins OC) Chad O’Shea and former New England offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo.

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Giants Hire Schuplinski As QBs Coach

Joe Judge‘s first Giants staff will feature Jason Garrett overseeing the offense and Jerry Schuplinski as quarterbacks coach. The Giants are hiring the former Patriots and Dolphins assistant quarterbacks coach, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post notes. Brian Flores could have blocked the move but opted not to. This will be Schuplinski’s first stint as a franchise’s top quarterbacks coach. He and Garrett have not worked together, but Judge and Schuplinski coached together in New England from 2013-18. The latter’s NFL career began in 2013, after he spent 13 years coaching at alma mater John Carroll, a Cleveland-area high school (Trinity) and Cleveland-based Division III college Case Western Reserve. Schuplinski helped Ryan Fitzpatrick to some surprising performances this season, given the offensive line and backfield situation with which the veteran quarterback was saddled, and will now play a key role in developing Daniel Jones.

  • With Bill Callahan set to become the Browns’ offensive line coach, the Giants’ search to fill this position continues. The team will bring in longtime Garrett assistant Marc Colombo for an interview, Jordan Raanan and Todd Archer of ESPN.com report (on Twitter). Colombo will interview on Tuesday, per Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News. Given that Colombo worked under Garrett from 2016-19 as Cowboys assistant O-line coach and then O-line coach, it would seem the ex-Cowboys lineman has a good chance of landing this job. The Giants had Callahan on their radar and also interviewed former Judge Pats coworker Dave DeGuglielmo for the position.

Browns To Hire Bill Callahan As OL Coach

Shortly after his run as Redskins interim head coach ended, Bill Callahan will land on his feet in a familiar role. The Browns are expected to hire Callahan as their next offensive line coach, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

They will be the fifth team to bring Callahan in as O-line coach, following the Eagles, Jets, Cowboys and Redskins. While Callahan has held higher-profile titles, most notably Raiders head coach, his primary NFL role has been as an O-line instructor.

Callahan will work with new Browns HC Kevin Stefanski for the first time. This takes the 63-year-old assistant out of the running for a Giants job. He was in play for Big Blue’s offensive line coach position, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). Former Cowboys boss Jason Garrett was named OC recently. Callahan worked under Garrett as Dallas’ OC from 2012-14 but accepted a job with the Redskins in 2015. He remained with Washington through the end of the 2010s.

Callahan will replace James Campen, who spent one season working as Browns O-line coach. While the Browns’ offensive line struggled in pass protection — namely at tackle — it ranked 11th in adjusted line yards, helping Nick Chubb to a second-place rushing finish.

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