The Giants introduced their 19th head coach on Thursday.

It was not who they thought it would be as of Monday morning.

While many speculated that Matt Rhule was the front-runner for the job, co-owner John Mara insisted on Thursday that was not the case and that he went into the process with an open mind. He did, however, admit that he considered one candidate a “long shot” for the position. That turned out to be Joe Judge, the new head coach of the Giants.

So how did the Giants miss out on Rhule, who agreed to become coach of the Panthers before he even interviewed with the Giants?

“He was supposed to come in on Tuesday afternoon,” Mara said of Rhule. “After we finished the interview with Joe [Judge] on Monday afternoon, we were ecstatic that we had somebody that we were going to be very excited about being our head coach. We still were going to interview Matt just because he was planning on coming in and he was somebody we were interested in. His agent called me early Tuesday morning to say that he had a deal in place. It was a seven-year deal. I had a brief conversation with Steve [Tisch] and Dave [Gettleman], and we agreed that we were not going there, for a number of reasons. One, we weren’t going with a seven-year deal with anybody. But more importantly, we had somebody we were excited about. So we went ahead and made Joe the coach.”

So it was the seven-year flinch that doomed what looked like a Giants-Rhule marriage.

“For a new head coach in the National Football League, I just did not think that was a reasonable way to go,” Mara said. “That’s all. And again, would we have talked about moving some parts around in that deal? Possibly, if we weren’t excited about the candidate we already had.”

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