Joe Schoen’s WFAN afternoon drive appearance on Wednesday was, by NFL general manager standards, a pretty newsy spot.
Schoen said the Giants should move on from James Bradberry by the end of the week and was candid about the lack of a trade market for the cornerback. He also gave Daniel Jones another full-throated endorsement, even acknowledging the quarterback could force them to use the franchise tag in 2023 with a big season. And he also took a series of small swipes at the local media.
Things started at the beginning of Schoen’s spot when Craig Carton asked him if the job had been anything more or less than he expected it to be. Schoen said the football aspect had been as he figured, but then pivoted into some interesting territory.
“I interviewed somebody and they didn’t get the job, and it became a story,” he said. “And I was like, ‘jeez.’ I can’t even believe people care about that. The stuff that’s reported, it’s amazing. It’s amazing how tied-in people are and what’s reported throughout the entire year, whether it’s free agency, the draft, leading up to it. But I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s been a lot of fun.”‘
That’s hard to believe given Schoen kept going later in the interview. Evan Roberts asked him about Logan Ryan’s salary grievance against the team after he was cut earlier this year — a story first reported by The Athletic along with some key context: The cap-strapped Giants have to put a good chunk of the disputed money in escrow during the arbitration process, giving them even even less space to operate.
“Back to New York, 31 other teams probably wouldn’t have reported that. It would have never made it to the papers,” Schoen said. “It happens all the time. There are grievances all the time. … It’s really not a big deal.”
Carton then asked Schoen if he gets upset and tries to find internal leaks if there are reports made about the Giants. He indicated he gets more concerned about local media on that front than national. Roberts then asked him rhetorically where he thought the New York Daily News’ report the team was open to trading Kadarius Toney came from — a report Schoen has yet to actually directly deny, remember.
“Some of that stuff, it’s no different than, ‘The Giants are interested in Player X.’ Some of it, I’m like, ‘where does this come from? It’s not even true. I don’t know where it’s coming from,'” Schoen said. “When they name a player on your team, what happens there and what the problem with that is when nobody reaches out to us and says, ‘I’m going to go with this, is this true or whatever.’
“It creates problems in our building where now the agent is calling me, I have to bring the player up, I’m like, ‘this isn’t true, this isn’t happening, we’re going to work with you and keep you here.’ So that’s just part of the job. It’s more trouble for me, probably, than it is for anybody else because it’s out there.”
Some will argue we’re proving Schoen’s point with this little riff. But this is important. The Giants have been a mess for roughly a decade now. During that time, they had two former general managers — Jerry Reese and Dave Gettleman — that fostered toxic relationships with the local media. Their inability to effectively work with the press had a negative impact on the franchise’s image and perception, as well as the relationship with its fans. You can also argue it contributed to the firings of four head coaches.
Now we have Schoen — a guy who has been showered with praise ever since he got to town in late January — making digs on the radio. It’s minor stuff in the grand scheme, and not the end of the world by any means. But it is worth noting.
Schoen is done with all the easy stuff now. Hiring Brian Daboll, signing a few offensive linemen, drafting Evan Neal and Kayvon Thibodeaux, firing Chris Pettit — that was all built in. Now Schoen has to put a team on the field. That team figures to be very bad once again. Then it will be time to go find a quarterback. Once that’s done, Schoen’s clock will start ticking. So if he think this is over the top …
This is not written to crush Schoen. But this is New York, and these things matter here. People do listen and read. And care. That’s life in the big city. Brian Cashman gets it. So did Ernie Accorsi and George Young. Schoen would be wise to get on board.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]