While many NY Giants fans are clamoring for the franchise to re-hire Tom Coughlin following his firing from Jacksonville, that idea would prove detrimental.
The Jacksonville Jaguars parted ways with vice president of football operations, and former NY Giants head coach Tom Coughlin on Wednesday, following a release from the NFL Players Association that warned the players about signing with the Jaguars due to the vast number of player grievances and the excessive fines handed out by Coughlin.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan stated that his original intent was to cut ties with Coughlin following the conclusion of the season, however, when the report came out from the NFL Players Association, it expedited the time frame on his firing.
In what was the 73-year-old Coughlin’s second venture with the Jaguars, optimism was high in the onset of his re-hiring, as the Jaguars would come within one game of going to the Super Bowl in 2017, following a 10-6 finish to the season.
However, since that time, the Jaguars have wildly underperformed finishing 5-11 in 2018 and going 5-9 to begin this year before being fired. The downfall of Coughlin had less to do with the underperformance of the team and more to do with his interactions with the players on the roster.
Jalen Ramsey was the first notable player to take umbrage with Coughlin and Jacksonville’s management group. Ramsey, arguably the league’s best cornerback, demanded a trade from the team, who initially denied his request, causing Ramsey to force his way out of Jacksonville via a trade to the Los Angeles Rams. Rumors have swirled that the results from a meeting between Coughlin and Ramsey during contract negotiations were what caused the star corner to demand a trade.
Additionally, there was a grievance filed by former Jaguar Dante Fowler over the $700,000 in fines that he received from Coughlin and Jacksonville for not receiving offseason mandatory rehab treatments and failing to attend doctor appointments in 2018. As a result of the fines, the relationship between Fowler and the team soured, ultimately leading to the Jaguars trading him to the Rams last season.
The report from the NFL Players Association alleges that over one-quarter of the player grievances filed in the past two years were done so by Jaguar players. This is a damning indictment of how Coughlin tends to rule over players on his roster with an iron fist.
Hiring someone who the NFL Players Association has been so highly critical of would prove to be a costly move by the Giants. The team is flush with cash coming into the offseason, already possessing over $75 million in cap space, a number that could swell to nearly $100 million should the Giants decide to part ways with a number of veteran players this offseason.
Given the number of holes that the Giants have in their roster currently and the amount of cap space available to sign high caliber free agents, the team should steer clear of Coughlin at all costs. Bringing Coughlin back in any capacity could serve to dissuade free agents from signing with the team, something that the franchise can ill afford after yet another disappointing losing season.
Bringing him back would seem like an act of desperation and would undoubtedly cause players to consider signing elsewhere this offseason, due to his reputation for being inflexible and militant in his ways. In addition, many of the roster moves by Coughlin have proven to be busts, setting the team back years in their progression.
Instead, the Giants should get a fresh start and remain clear of going to Coughlin as a retread. In doing so, they will be able to preserve the legacy of the man who coached them to two Super Bowl Championships during his tenure with the team.