San Francisco 49ers director of personnel Ran Carthon before an...

San Francisco 49ers director of personnel Ran Carthon before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Santa Clara, Calif., on Nov. 28, 2021. Credit: AP/Jed Jacobsohn

The Giants are one step closer to finding their new general manager, but the final answer may yet take some strides — and patience — to be revealed.

The last of the virtual first-round interviews took place on Monday as ownership spoke with Adam Peters, the assistant general manager of the 49ers, and Ran Carthon, the 49ers’ director of player personnel.

The second round, with an as-yet-unknown number of finalists, could begin as early as Tuesday after the team winnowed down its list of candidates on Monday night.

These second interviews figure to be much more intense and detail-specific than the first-rounders, each of which lasted two hours or so and were more getting-to-know-you chats than hard-hitting interrogations.

The Giants are not going to hand the keys to the franchise over to someone with whom they have met for less than the run time of an Avengers movie.

With the second round of interviews being held in person, there also are logistical considerations. While the Giants would prefer to have the finalists travel to meet them at their facility in New Jersey, that might not be possible with everyone. Ownership might have to take to the road to meet in another city.

Of the nine first-round candidates, six are with teams still in the playoffs (Adrian Wilson and Quentin Harris of the Cardinals saw their team lose to the Rams in a Monday wild-card game).

Depending on how many finalists they have, the process could go through this weekend.

Hanging over this decision is the vacancy at head coach. The Giants want their new general manager to lead that search, but when it finally begins, they might be playing catch-up.

The Giants are one of eight teams in the NFL without a full-time head coach. They and the Raiders are the only ones who have yet to meet with any candidates for the job, and they are the only team that has yet to formally request permission to speak with an applicant.

There certainly are back channels through which the Giants can express interest with potential hires — and vice versa — so the short list of candidates should be pretty tight once the new general manager is hired. The risk is that coaching dominoes might begin to fall before the Giants are even in the game.

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