Now one of their own is speaking out about his own disappointment in the move.
Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan told Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network that he couldn’t believe the transition was handled this way.
“I think we’re all surprised and disappointed,” Strahan said. “I don’t think they’re handling it very well. I don’t think you put it all on Eli, the season of failure on his part. I think it’s a team game, team sport, we all understand that. Sometimes one person gets thrown under the bus as a martyr and that seems to be Eli in this case. But I think it goes a lot higher than the players on the field. I don’t think a lot of the supporting things put in place before the season were good for him. That has to do with more than just Eli.
“Here’s a guy who’s been the epitome of this organization, the class of this organization for a long time, for 14 seasons. And with four games to go that aren’t going to change the season one way or the other, this just isn’t right. I don’t think there’s any player, current or former, who feels like this is right.”
Strahan’s words will resonate at a number of levels. His assessment of the front office and coaching staff’s role in this one will surely be heard by ownership. But his view of the feelings in the locker room may be the most important.
No matter who is left standing in 2018, there will be players remaining with the Giants who watched this handled so clumsily. And they’ll remember that, and realize that all the talk about the Giants being some kind of legacy organization that does things differently is just talk. And they’ll realize that one day their day will come.
And when one of the icons of the organization says it out loud, it ought to send a signal to owner John Mara of how much of a blow to the team’s reputation this week actually was.