Tom Coughlin, Giants to discuss deal

Updated: January 4, 2011, 4:33 AM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD -- Tom Coughlin is not only coming back as the New York Giants coach next season, he could be staying a little longer.

A day after the Giants were eliminated from playoff contention for the second straight year, co-owner Steve Tisch said Monday that the team plans to sit down with the 64-year-old coach in the very near future and discuss his contract.

Coughlin has one year remaining on a $21 million contract that he signed after the Giants won the Super Bowl in 2008.

The Giants typically do not let head coaches enter the final year of their contract.

"I'm very aware of the timing on Tom's contract, as is John [Mara] and [general manager] Jerry [Reese]," said Giants chairman and executive vice president Steve Tisch. "I don't think John, Jerry and I have ever let any of these issues linger on and in fairness to Tom and the team, this is an issue that will be addressed very, very soon."

If the Giants opt to rework Coughlin's contract, it is unclear how long it could be for. The Giants could potentially decide to give him at least an extra year.

"I haven't really given that a lot of thought yet and I don't even know what his feeling is on it yet," said Mara, the team president and CEO who announced on Sunday that Coughlin will return as head coach. "Certainly I will talk to Steve about it and with Jerry. It's all just speculation at this point. I'm not sure where we're going to come out on that. I just know he's going to be back next year."

Coughlin said he is not thinking about his contract right now. He also said he wants to coach until he is "probably 70 or 72."

"One year at a time. I do one year at a time," Coughlin said.

Coughlin isn't the only one returning to the Giants for another season. He said Monday that he is not considering making any changes to his coaching staff at the moment.

"Right now, I'm not," said Coughlin, who will begin evaluating a staff that finished 10-6 this season and out of the playoffs for a second straight season. "We're just starting that part of it but right now I have to say no."

Coughlin, though, may have some competition for some of his coordinators.

The Browns -- who fired Eric Mangini on Monday -- and the Panthers -- who let John Fox go on Friday -- submitted interview requests to talk to Coughlin's defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, a team source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, whose offense finished fifth in the NFL, has also been floated as a potential candidate for the University of Connecticut job according to one report.

"We don't want to hold anybody back," Reese said when asked about assistant coaches being potential candidates for other job openings. "We like our coaching staff. Everybody gets evaluated. I get evaluated, the coaching staff, our players get evaluated. If guys get an opportunity to move on to a better opportunity, we are happy for them if that comes along, but we like our coaching staff right now."

Nathan Whitaker, Fewell's agent, tweeted Monday: "Perry Fewell is currently focused on helping [the Giants] defense to further improvement in 2011."

Fewell's defense finished seventh in the NFL and was ranked in the top two for 10 straight weeks until a fourth-quarter collapse against the Eagles and a blowout loss at Green Bay in Weeks 15 and 16.

The Giants offense, meanwhile, managed numerous injuries to the offensive line and wide receivers group but led the NFL with 42 turnovers.

Special teams struggled this season with a rookie punter, Matt Dodge, and never was able to find a suitable replacement for punt returner Domenik Hixon after he suffered a season-ending knee injury during the offseason.

For now, though, Tom Quinn will remain the special teams coordinator unless Coughlin changes his mind and alters his staff.

Roster changes are another matter. Reese will have some key decisions to make with several core Giants who will be searching for a new contract.

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw, defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, tight end Kevin Boss, wide receiver Steve Smith and defensive tackle Barry Cofield are among the many Giants who will looking for a new deal.

The Giants would like to bring back many of them but Reese said he will wait until there is a new collective bargaining agreement before moving forward with free agents.

"It's hard to make intelligent decisions right now until you know what system we're going to be operating under and what cap room is going to be available," Mara said.

There are also several Giants on the mend. Kiwanuka has a neck injury that is still being evaluated and Reese said the team will have to consider giving the defense's most versatile player potentially a one-year contract. Smith recently had microfracture knee surgery that will require a lengthy rehab and offensive lineman Rich Seubert, whom Reese called the "MVP" of the team this season because of his play at center and guard, will undergo surgery on his knee from an injuries suffered against the Redskins on Sunday.

Despite the injuries, Reese expressed disappointment at not making the playoffs for a second straight season and cited too many explosive plays given up on the back end of the defense and turnovers as some of the things he wants to correct in the offseason.

"There's going to be changes for sure, I don't know if we have to do a lot of wholesale changes but there definitely will be changes," Reese said.

Reese was asked if one of those changes would include former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress, who is scheduled to be released from prison later this year.

"We investigate everything," said Reese, who states the same thing about all potential free-agent signings. "When that situation arises we will investigate that."

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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