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Who will Spags' suitors be?

Steve Spagnuolo

The following note from Big Blue Interactive should make New York Giants' fans sit up and take notice.

Teams that are interested in Giants’ Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo are allowed to interview him during the Giants’ upcoming playoff bye.

I haven't wanted to think about the Giants losing Spagnuolo, their fabulous defensive coordinator. Unfortunately, the time has come when we can't really avoid the topic any longer.

The Giants are also aware of it.

"We'll do everything we can to try to get him to stay," co-owner John Mara said, "but at some point the right offer is going to come along from somebody and he's going to have to consider that."

So, let's take a look at some of the teams that might be interested in talking to Spags about becoming their head coach. Let me know if you think I have left anyone off the list.

  • Detroit Lions: The winless Lions are, obviously, an embarassment and Rod Marinelli will soon be hitting the unemployment line. There is plenty of speculation about New England personnel guru Scott Pioli becoming GM in Detroit, and bringing QB Matt Cassel and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (as head coach) with him. Spags should get an interview here, especially since the Lions are horrid on defense, but I wouldn't wish this job on him.
  • Oakland Raiders: Tom Cable probably isn't the long-term guy in Oakland, but who knows? Either way, I am not too worried about Spags ending up with the Raiders. Al Davis loves offensive guys, and he's too senile and stupid to realize how good Spagnuolo is. Also, I think Spags is too smart to go to work for Davis.
  • Cleveland Browns: Romeo Crennel is probably headed for the exit in Cleveland, with the disappointing Browns in disarray at 4-11. Romeo is a nice guy, but he has not gotten the job done in Cleveland. Word has the Browns making a run at Bill Cowher (everyone with an opening will try), or possibly coaxing Marty Schottenheimer out of retirement. The Browns have some talent, and if one of those options were to fall through this is a place I could Spagnuolo winding up.
  • Cincinnati Bengals: If Marvin Lewis gets the ax, I could see the Bengals wanting to talk with Spags. As with the Raiders, I hope he is smart enough to avoid this nuthouse, though. It's a losing organization, and no rookie head coach will change it.
  • Kansas City Chiefs: The 2-13 Chiefs will have a new GM. Spagnuolo would be a definite upgrade over Herman Edwards (how has Hapless Herm lasted so long as an NFL head coach, anyway?), but it remains to be seen if Edwards will stay or go. Anyway, this might be one to keep an eye on.
  • St. Louis Rams: Jim Haslett hasn't really gotten much done for the 2-13 Rams since replacing Scott Linehan. There doesn't seem to be much to work with in St. Louis, and I would think that if Spags has options he would not choose this one.
  • Philadelphia Eagles: I saved this one for last, probably because it scares me the most. If the Eagles' job is open I think Spagnuolo is the automatic front-runner. I think he would jump at the chance to go back to Philly, where he learned his trade from defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, and I think he would do a tremendous job. Fortunately for the Giants, I don't think Eagles' ownership has the gumption to do what it should do -- which is replace Andy Reid. At one time Reid was a great coach. Nowadays, he is mostly an impediment to the Eagles being successful.

From a Giants' perspective, ideally they would be able to entice Spagnuolo to stay by making him 'head coach in waiting.' That's not realisitc, though. First of all, Tom Coughlin has three years remaining on his current deal. There is no way the Giants can, at this point, tell Coughlin he is done after that. He deserves better treatment than that. Also, there is no way Spagnuolo is going to wait that long to become a head coach.

About the best the Giants can wish for, though, is a repeat of last off-season. Recall that Spags could probably have had the Washington job, but decided the time and the offer wasn't right.

We can hope for that. But, Giants' fans, be prepared for the worst. Life without Spags is probably coming, and it is probably coming soon.