The moment Jay Glazer reported friction between New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale back in November, it was evident how things would ultimately end.
But the Giants tried to brush that report under the rug. They vehemently denied any issues between Daboll and Martindale, with the head coach putting on an obviously fake display of support by handing Martindale the game ball following a Week 12 win over the New England Patriots.
The moment was fraudulent. It was Daboll attempting to control an emerging narrative by gaslighting his players, reporters, and fans.
Some fell for it. Others did not.
Behind the scenes, the in-fighting continued. Martindale had reportedly grown tired of Daboll’s “Patriot’s Way” approach and reached his boiling point with Daboll’s repeated outbursts.
On Sunday, during the team’s regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, Martindale sent out a subtle message. Knowing that his Giants career was coming to an end one way or another, he let the world know that the clock was ticking.
There were only 24 hours remaining.
— el Jefé (@JefePil) January 7, 2024
During Monday morning’s year-end press conference, Daboll said he expected Martindale to return in 2024 but acknowledged the two had not yet spoken.
It was another disingenuous moment from the Giants head coach.
Daboll had already relieved two coaches of their duties and made up his mind that more would follow. Those terminations came in the form of Drew and Kevin Wilkins — two assistants that Martindale brought with him from Baltimore.
Drew Wilkins has long been Martindale’s right-hand man and that termination was likely the final straw for the defensive coordinator.
The Giants wanted to avoid firing Martindale, instead pushing him to the point of resignation so they wouldn’t have to pay him what was owed in 2024.
In the end, Daboll got what he wanted.
Martindale saw it coming from a mile away and pulled the curtain back on Sunday afternoon. Daboll, meanwhile, scheduled an 8:30 a.m. press conference — something the Giants never do — in order to avoid answering any questions about his fallout with Martindale or the end of Martindale’s Giants tenure.