The New York Giants are finalizing a deal for New England Patriots wide receivers coach, Joe Judge to become the team’s next head coach, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday.
Judge, a Philadelphia native, was in the running for the head-coaching job at Mississippi State. He joined the Patriots in 2012 after three years as a football analyst under Saban at Alabama. He also assisted with the special team’s units.
Judge, 38, was the youngest of the seven known candidates mentioned for the Giants’ vacancy and has been mentored by Alabama coach, Nick Saban, and Patriots coach, Bill Belichick. He is considered a no-nonsense guy who isn’t afraid to ruffle feathers with players if necessary.
The deal was in the works as of Monday night, sources told Schefter, which is another reason Matt Rhule took the head-coaching job with the Carolina Panthers. Rhule was among the favorites for the Giant’s job at the start of the search. He was expected to interview Tuesday, but he never made it to New Jersey after accepting a deal that could be worth up to $70 million over seven years, according to Schefter. A source told ESPN that Rhule called the Giants before accepting the deal with the Panthers and was informed they still wanted to speak, although there was another candidate seriously in the running.
Judge, who interviewed with the Giants on Monday, follows the John Harbaugh model to the top of the coaching profession, from special-teams coordinator, before adding a position coach stint to his résumé, to NFL head coach. This is his first head-coaching job.
He’ll have his work cut out for him in New York, where the Giants are an NFL-worst 12-36 since the start of the 2017 season. But they do have a young starting quarterback in Daniel Jones who was an attractive piece for candidates, according to sources. Belichick was also high on Jones coming out of Duke last year.
No one can definitively judge the decision yet, no pun intended. But it is more than safe to say the jury is still out on this massive shock of a coaching hire.