Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale watches players warm up before...

Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale watches players warm up before an NFL game against the Jaguars on Oct. 23, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. Credit: AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Wink Martindale and the Giants officially parted ways Wednesday, ending a two-year run.

Martindale was angered when he learned the Giants were firing two of his assistant coaches, brothers Drew and Kevin Wilkins.

There could have been some gamesmanship being played by the Giants, who might have hoped that Martindale would then resign.

Whatever the case, the Giants are in the market for a defensive coordinator and Martindale has “parted ways” with his second team in three years.

He left the Ravens in January 2022.

According to an agreement that was reached between the Giants and Martindale, he is free to sign elsewhere without restrictions, according to a source, and the Giants will not pay the $3 million that he was owed.

Most of the accounts detailing the rift between Martindale and the coach Brian Daboll have favored the organization. That should not come as a surprise. As of this writing, Martindale has not spoken publicly about the situation. And the Giants have been proactive.

The truth of the story could include enough blame to go around from both sides.

The first public sign of trouble between Daboll and Martindale came from Fox’s Jay Glazer in November when he said the coaches’ relationship was “not in a good place.”

Daboll responded to the report by suggesting that he and Martindale only argued over who would get the last doughnut.

And at his bye week news conference in November, general manager Joe Schoen said of the relationship between Daboll and Martindale: “In the 22 months we've been here, it hasn't changed."

Which doesn’t mean there wasn’t friction.

As Martindale said, “These types of reports happen when you're 4-8 instead of 8-4.”

Martindale is generally liked and respected by players.

Saquon Barkley was on the “Sports Seriously” podcast and he weighed in on the loss of Martindale.

“I have no idea what my future’s going to be, but if it is with the Giants, that’s a tough loss because of how great a coach that he is and how great a person that he is,” Barkley said. “Wherever he goes, they’re getting a good one.”

On Sunday, Martindale coached his last game as Giants defensive coordinator.

Earlier in the week, he celebrated the progress made by defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, who made his second Pro Bowl.

“He’s definitely been the center piece of the defense for us,” Martindale said. “And we just got to keep building this thing around him and we’ll see. The sacks are a bonus, out of the nose (tackle position), you know what I mean? The sacks are a bonus, and he has a way of getting to the quarterback too, and I think that’s what makes him so unique. I think when he wants to be he can be an unblockable player. And let’s enjoy watching him play this last time here against Philly.”

For Martindale, it was, indeed, the last time.

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