“New York Giants and Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale: A Blinking Battle Ends in Surprise Split”


New York Giants Part Ways with Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale

Both the New York Giants and Wink Martindale blinked at the same time.

After several days of a staredown as to who would bite the bullet first, the G-Men and the defensive coordinator have decided to part ways, the team announced on Wednesday.

Reports had been circulating earlier in the 2023 season that Martindale and head coach Brian Daboll weren’t getting along, but neither of them revealed much about it. Daboll even took those reports in stride and gave Martindale a game ball after a victory over the New England Patriots.

Wink Martindale reacts to play

Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale of the New York Giants reacts during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on October 15, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Bryan Bennett/Getty Images)

But tensions escalated when Daboll fired members of the coaching staff that Martindale had been close with.

The Giants defense was the only shining spot this season, so it wouldn’t make sense for Daboll to fire Martindale. However, all signs pointed to Martindale wanting to leave — yet he would have had to forfeit his salary, and the Giants could have prevented him from coaching elsewhere in 2024.

Giants coaches talk

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll and New York Giants defensive coordinator Don Martindale during the second quarter of the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the New York Giants on August 28, 2022 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


The two parties reached a compromise: The Giants would keep the million that Martindale would have made, and he would be free to find a job for this season, as reported by ESPN.

According to the New York Post, Martindale cursed out Daboll during a meeting this week and then took off to Florida, ignoring messages from Giants management.

Martindale is now the second coordinator to leave the team in the young offseason, as special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey was fired.

There are also rumors that offensive coordinator Mike Kafka wants out of Big Blue and is interviewing for the Tennessee Titans’ open head-coaching position.

Wink Martindale stands on the sideline

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale of the New York Giants in action against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Packers 24-22. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)


The irony is that Martindale could very well stay in the division, as defensive coordinator jobs could open up in Dallas, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

New York finished the season with a 6-11 record and currently owns the sixth pick in the NFL Draft.

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