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Giants, defensive coordinator Wink Martindale mutually agree to part ways after two seasons

Don "Wink" Martindale and the Giants have come to a resolution: He's leaving New York.

The defensive coordinator and the team have mutually agreed to part ways, the club announced Wednesday.

The midweek news follows a back-and-forth between the coordinator and team, which began with coach Brian Daboll stating he expected Martindale to return for 2024 before reports claimed otherwise. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday Martindale would resign as Giants DC, but New York held out hope a compromise with the veteran coordinator could be reached to keep him on staff.

Two days later, it is official: The Giants and Martindale failed to reach such common ground, and the coach is free to head elsewhere.

Paul Schwartz of the New York Post provided some insight on the standoff when he reported Martindale cursed out Daboll and stormed out of the building Tuesday night after the Giants fired outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins and Wilkins' younger brother, Kevin, a defensive assistant on staff.

It appears those staff decisions were the final straw for Martindale, a coordinator with a history of scheming up aggressive approaches and finding success. The aggression produced a boom-or-bust defense in 2023, which finished 27th in total defense, 29th against the run and 26th in scoring defense, but did see the Giants tie for the league lead in takeaways with 31.

These numbers cannot be viewed in a vacuum, not for a team that struggled mightily offensively, shifting much of the onus onto the shoulders of the defense to keep them afloat. Ultimately, though, it appears the contributions of Martindale's staff were not appreciated by Daboll, with whom Martindale did not see eye to eye for much of 2023.

They'll go their separate ways in one of the more unusual divorces of the annual coaching carousel, in which the Giants will now search for a replacement.

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