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Shame on Jerry Reese for blowing off Josh Brown questions

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GM refuses to discuss former placekicker, or his role in re-signing him

NFL: Preseason-New York Giants at New York Jets
Jerry Reese
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

General manager Jerry Reese, the man responsible for building the New York Giants roster, refused on Monday to talk about why the Giants decided to hand former placekicker Josh Brown a two-year, $4 million contract this offseason despite knowing of allegations of multiple instances of domestic abuse.

That means that players on the team have been forced to talk about Brown, to the point where last week Victor Cruz told reporters to stop asking him about the situation. The head coach has been forced to talk about Brown again and again. Co-owner John Mara has, after initially being silent, faced the music and admitted the team was “misguided” in its handling of Brown.

Yet, the man who is ultimately in charge of the personnel that comprise the roster, and who could have kept the Giants away from the whole Brown mess by simply signing a different placekicker during the offseason, steadfastly refused to discuss the matter on Monday. Reese said at least four times that he was “not taking any questions” about Brown.

That even though Reese had not spoken to the media since before the league initially handed Brown a one-game suspension.

“Stop asking me. I’m not going to take any questions about that,” Reese said. “Because I don’t think it makes sense for people to keep talking about that situation right now.”

Thus, Reese, the man who in the end made the decision to get Brown’s name on a Giants’ contract, will remain silent on the matter.

So, while Mara said right up until shortly before the Giants released Brown that the team had been “comfortable” with re-signing Brown we apparently will never know how much of Brown’s troubled history the general manager was aware of. Or, given what we believe we know about what the Giants knew when the decision to re-sign Brown was made, how the GM justified the decision.

Brown, of course, was released last week after new documents relating to his domestic violence case were uncovered.

I get that everyone is tired of talking about Brown. I get that fans, and the organization, want to move on and concentrate on the season’s final nine games. No one wants to re-litigate the case or continue criticizing the Giants for it.

The Brown situation, though, remains an embarrassment to a proud Giants organization. One that could have, and should have, been avoided. The GM bears a huge part of the responsibility for why it wasn’t.

It’s shameful that he wouldn’t apologize, or at least address the fact that he shared in the culpability for the Giants’ mistakes in handling the Brown situation.