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Mike Mularkey firing by Titans has impact on Giants’ head-coaching search

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That likely takes Josh McDaniels out of play for New York

NFL: AFC Divisional Playoff-Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots
Mike Mularkey
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

In a stunning reversal that could have ramifications for the New York Giants as they search for a new head coach, the Tennessee Titans have parted ways with head coach Mike Mularkey. This comes just a day after reports that the Titans had offered Mularkey a contract extension.

The Titans confirmed the move in a statement that read in part “the two parties couldn’t come to an agreement over the future.”

The why is not important for the Giants. The “who the Titans will replace Mularkey with” is the important part. Before Tennessee upset the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild-card round of the playoffs there were reports that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could replace Mularkey had the Titans lost that game.

Now that Mularkey is out the McDaniels to Tennessee rumors will heat up again. It’s fair, in fact, to wonder if there is already a “handshake agreement” in place. Tennessee GM Jon Robinson is a former Patriots’ executive.

How does this impact the Giants?

The Giants reportedly had three finalists — McDaniels, Matt Patricia and Pat Shurmur. They already appear to have lost Patricia, the New England defensive coordinator, to the Detroit Lions. McDaniels and the Giants never really seemed like a likely match, and never really seemed to really want each other. Now McDaniels has two options (Titans and Indianapolis Colts) he appears to prefer.

That leaves only Shurmur, the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, from the original list of finalists. The Arizona Cardinals are also reportedly in hot pursuit of Shurmur, whose value only went up Sunday after the Vikings’ miraculous victory over the New Orleans Saints.

Can the Giants win a bidding war with the Cardinals? Do they want Shurmur badly enough to even entertain one?

What happens if Shurmur ends up in Arizona? Do the Giants turn back to Carolina Panthers’ defensive coordinator Steve Wilks? Does Mularkey become a candidate for the Giants’ job? Do we find out who the alleged “sleeper” candidate for the Giants’ job is? Do the Giants re-open their search?

It’s yet another wacky chapter in the soap opera that is “As the New York Giants Coaching Search Turns.”