EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants fired coach Pat Shurmur on Monday after two seasons on the job, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.
Shurmur was told of his dismissal a little before 9 a.m., according to a source. Shurmur still plans to meet with the team at 11 a.m. ET, and his assistants will be met with individually later Monday.
Shurmur amassed a 9-23 record. His 19-46 mark and .291 winning percentage in four seasons as head coach with the Giants and Cleveland Browns is the seventh lowest of all time among NFL coaches.
The Giants (4-12) finished in fourth and third place, respectively, in the NFC East each of the past two seasons with Shurmur at the helm. They earned top-six picks in the draft for their struggles.
“This is a ‘wins’ business — I get it, I get it,” Shurmur said after Sunday’s 34-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. “We’ve been talking about [my job] for, I think, about six weeks. You’ve been asking me the same questions for six weeks. So, I don’t know if I’m getting good at answering them, but I’m answering them a lot. But, that’s the reality of this business. When you don’t win, that’s the line of questioning. Listen, I get that, I get that.”
Not that Shurmur wasn’t working without limitations. He was saddled this year with a roster devoid of top-level talent (especially on the defensive side of the ball) and a quarterback position that had an aging franchise legend in Eli Manning and promising but mistake-prone rookie in Daniel Jones. The Giants also didn’t have a game with all their top weapons on the field with Jones. They had over $40 million in dead money, and 10 rookies started at least one game.
Shurmur leaves despite believing the team is in a better place now than when he arrived off a 3-13 season in 2017.
“I think so. I do,” he said. “These guys battled. We can talk about the dynamics of how the team was built and where it’s going. We’re building a team. A lot of dead money this year, a lot of cap space next year, and some prime picks where we can use the draft wisely and make decisions on making this team better with impact players.
“You need to have a quarterback, you need to be able to play defense, you need to run the ball. On defense, you need to have impact players that when they game is on the line, can do things. We have some strung throughout this roster and we’ll have a chance to go get more. I think that’s exciting.”
The Giants didn’t have nearly enough. It led to Shurmur being relieved of his duties just two years into a five-year deal despite quickly making the move from Manning to Jones early this season.
Shurmur was hired in 2018 after a successful run as the offensive coordinator in Minnesota. The Giants were looking for an adult in the room at the time after the Ben McAdoo era ended.
General manager Dave Gettleman, also a new hire at the time, even wrote the word “adult” at the top of his notepad during Shurmur’s interview. Gettleman thought it was the right hire as he was intent on fixing the team’s culture.
But Shurmur’s time with the Giants didn’t come without incident. His relationship with Odell Beckham Jr. soured quickly during his first season as head coach, to the point that the star wide receiver was traded last offseason to the Browns. Shurmur also had a run-in with edge rusher Olivier Vernon, who also was traded to the Browns.
The Giants weren’t able to restock their roster and get back to their winning ways with Shurmur and Gettleman in charge. As a result, they will now be looking for their fourth head coach in the past six years. The Giants have the worst record in the NFL since the start of the 2017 season.
Shurmur, 54, knew the heat was on in recent weeks when the Giants were in the midst of an eight-game skid. He was going to be judged by the win-loss record no matter how many rookies were playing prominent roles this season.
“I’m well aware of it. I’m well aware of it,” he said after a home loss to the Green Bay Packers. “People will change what they think of us and me when we win games. I’m a realist when it comes to that, and I get it. … I expect fans to be upset because we are, too. But we go about trying to fix it.”
It never happened. Shurmur will not get the opportunity to see through the time and investment placed in Jones. The former quarterbacks coach was a major voice in the room when the Giants selected Jones — despite intense criticism — No. 6 overall in April’s draft. So was Gettleman.
Jones flashed potential working with Shurmur throughout his rookie season. This was Shurmur’s best case for remaining the Giants’ coach, at least for another season. Co-owner John Mara said prior to the season the futures of his coach and general manager would “absolutely” be tied to their new quarterback.
Jones finished with 24 touchdown passes and 23 turnovers his rookie season. It wasn’t enough for Shurmur to retain his job for another season with the losses piling and the fan base enraged by the results on the field.