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Joe Judge reacts to harsh criticism from Kelvin Benjamin

Judge refuses to fire back

Syndication: The Record
GM Dave Gettleman stands between Kelvin Benjamin and Joe Judge during a discussion Wednesday. The discussion ended with Benjamin leaving the field and subsequently being cut.
Kevin R. Wexler-NorthJersey.com via Imagn Content Services, LLC

New York Giants coach Joe Judge reacted Thursday to a barrage of criticism from Kelvin Benjamin by saying "I wish him well."

"I'm not going to go into any specific situation with a player," Jude said. "I wish him well."

Benjamin walked off the field early in Wednesday’s practice after an animated discussion with Judge and GM Dave Gettleman. He was released by the Giants later in the day.

In a subsequent interview with Zack Rosenblatt of NJ Advance Media, Benjamin eviscerated Judge and the Giants. He called his time with the Giants “a hoax,” said that the team was trying to “sabotage” his comeback attempt and blasted Judge by saying “he’s one-sided about everything. He’s a know-it-all.”

Benjamin had signed with the Giants after a rookie minicamp tryout. A 2014 first-round draft pick by Gettleman with the Carolina Panthers, the 30-year-old was trying a comeback after being out of the league since 2018. He was moving from wide receiver to tight end.

“Dave was the one that got me here — and Dave knew exactly what went down. I’m a team guy. I’ve been on a winning team before. I get the politics in the league and stuff. But the thing with me is: Don’t sit there and try to bash my game and let the story run wild. Just tell the truth. Be honest.”

Benjamin told Rosenblatt that the on-field issue arose from a dispute over Benjamin’s weight. Per Rosenblatt, the Giants wanted Benjamin to report to training camp at 251 pounds, 14 less than he admitted to weighing at the end of minicamp. Instead, he weighed in this week at 268 pounds.

Per Benjamin, the issues began Wednesday when Judge pulled him aside to tell him the team was going to fine him for being 17 pounds overweight.

“He didn’t even talk to me [Tuesday],” Benjamin said. “The day before practice, he didn’t bring all of this up. I just felt like the dude didn’t like me. Mr. Gettleman knew exactly what went down. It’s crazy how they twisting the narrative about everything like it’s a joke. They make it seem like we don’t even matter. That’s the thing about humanity, man.” ...

“I was like: ‘What do you want me to do?’” Benjamin said. “I’m like: ‘I’m trying everything I can to be here. You won’t even let me on the field to show what I can do. I played receiver at 268 [pounds] and I almost had 1,000 yards [in 2016]. So why do you want me to come back at 251 at tight end?’”

Judge refused to return fire on Benjamin's personal criticisms.

"We're never going to attack any player personally," Judge said. "It is what it is."

This is not Judge’s first clash as Giants coach. Offensive line coach Marc Colombo was fired in the middle of last season after a disagreement with Judge.