Source – Wink Martindale resigns as Giants defensive coordinator
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Wink Martindale has resigned as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, a source told ESPN.
Martindale’s tense relationship with coach Brian Daboll was at the heart of the divorce. It was reported during the season that the two were in a “bad place.” The relationship has not improved significantly over time, according to another source close to the situation.
The Giants also fired special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins and his brother, Kevin Wilkins, on Monday.
The Wilkins brothers were two of Martindale’s top lieutenants after coming with him from Baltimore. They were fired as a result of the realization that Martindale would not return for a third season with the Giants.
The Giants’ defense ranked 27th overall last season, but tied for the NFL lead with 31 points scored. They were the team’s best unit for most of last year during a disappointing 6-11 season.
Daboll said earlier Monday that he expects Martindale and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka to return. Both remain under contract for another year. This was also before he had a chance to speak with his remaining coordinators.
“I expect they’ll come back. I think they’re good coaches. So it’ll be good to have some continuity and come back,” Daboll said. “I know Wink talks about this as a destination and things like that. It’s good. I appreciate how hard they work and the commitment to the team. So that’s my plan.”
Martindale has said on multiple occasions that he doesn’t view the Giants as a starting point, instead as a destination. But his relationship with Daboll made staying in New York untenable.
The 60-year-old coordinator wants to win and is expected to attract a lot of interest as a coordinator this recruiting cycle. He’s also been a head coaching candidate the past few years, including with the Giants when they hired Daboll two years ago.
Both of New York’s recent opponents — the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams — raved about Martindale’s schemes after playing against his defense. Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris is considering the head coaching position in Washington and perhaps more. The Eagles’ defense has been performing poorly and they recently named Matt Patricia a starter.
Martindale chose his words carefully last week when asked about his future.
“I mean I think the future is bright if you ask me how I look at my future,” he said. “I think those are the things you talk about after the season is over because (Daboll) wants to beat Philly and I want to beat Philly, and I think those answers will come later in (next) week as farther down the road we go.”
The matter came to a head on Monday when Martindale tendered his resignation. The Giants will now look to replace at least two coordinators.
Running backs coach Jeff Nixon also recently accepted the offensive coordinator position at Syracuse and strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald was named Florida’s director of football performance.