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Ravens Insider: Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale and the New York Giants part ways


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By TOM CANAVAN (AP Sports Writer)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale and the New York Giants have parted ways after coach Brian Daboll fired two of his most trusted assistant coaches.

The Giants, coming off a disappointing 6-11 season, announced the separation on Wednesday after more than a day of talks on how to work around the final year of Martindale’s contract. He was supposed to earn in the neighborhood of $3 million in 2024.

No details of the split were released. A separation agreement could limit which teams the long-time coordinator could join if he was hired elsewhere next season.

There were reports that the 60-year-old Martindale had submitted his resignation on Monday after the dismissals of outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins and defensive assistant Kevin Wilkins, brothers whom Martindale worked with in Baltimore and were hired by him after he got the Giants job. But Martindale never submitted a resignation, according to general manager Joe Schoen.

The rift between Daboll and Martindale emerged publicly in November when FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer reported their relationship had soured and Martindale might leave the team after the season. Both Daboll and Martindale denied the report. Martindale several times said he wanted to return in 2024, but last week the affable veteran acknowledged he still wanted to be an NFL head coach.

The departure of Martindale, whose defense shared the NFL lead with Baltimore in turnover differential (plus 12) but struggled against the run, means Daboll has to replace two coordinators and four assistants in the wake of injury-plagued season.

Daboll fired special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson on Monday morning and the Wilkins brothers in the afternoon meeting with the defensive coaches. Running backs coach Jeff Nixon has left to become the offensive coordinator at Syracuse.

The changes came after the team stumbled horribly after making the playoffs in 2022 for the first time since 2016. New York won a wild-card game and expectations soared after the team reached agreement with quarterback Daniel Jones following a career season, acquired tight end Darren Waller in a trade and got star running back Saquon Barkley to sign a one-year deal after franchising him. Moves in free agency and the draft fueled those expectations.

A bad start, injuries, little offense and early struggles on defense led to a 2-8 start to the season and New York never recovered.

The only coordinator expected to return is offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, although Daboll might consider taking over the play-calling part of the job.


AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

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