The Giants have become an organization divided, both over the direction of the franchise and the mishandling of the Eli Manning mess this week. That's a big reason why Ben McAdoo could be out of a job in the coming days.
And he might not be the only one.
While multiple team sources have told SNY they're not exactly sure what Mara plans to do in the wake of this chaos, they all believe a breaking point has been reached. And if the Giants are blown out in Oakland on Sunday afternoon, all bets are off on what will happen back in New Jersey on Monday morning.
ESPN has already reported that McAdoo "could" be fired within 24 hours of the Raiders game. That's hardly a surprise given that Mara said "There are no guarantees in life" when he was asked on Thursday if McAdoo was safe for the rest of the season. Multiple sources confirmed a firing was possible, but it really seems to depend on what happens in the Oakland game.
For example: If Geno Smith, who is clearly McAdoo's preferred quarterback, plays terribly in Oakland and the Giants are forced to turn back to Manning, that might be enough, regardless of the result. There are some in the organization who feel it would be a humiliating gesture to make Manning mop up a mess left by Smith. But there may be no choice because McAdoo and his coaching staff have not gotten rookie Davis Webb ready to play. In fact, a source said he is expected to be inactive today.
But if Smith plays well and the Giants win, it could be a lot harder to pull the trigger on a firing, no matter how inevitable it now feels.
Any firing of McAdoo, though, may only be the first step in what could be an organizational purge. There is a very definitive and increasingly tense split among those in the front office and ownership groups - not between ownership and the front office, necessarily, but really throughout the team's braintrust. The split has been obvious for a while, according to sources, over the direction of the franchise - and to an extent the continued employment of GM Jerry Reese.
In fact, according to a source, there have been several people high in the Giants organization pushing for Reese to be out since at least last season. Mara, of course, has resisted. The Giants haven't fired a general manager since 1978, when Andy Robustelli technically resigned as director of football operations, and that's a major move ownership prefers not to make.
Reese's job security is increasingly tenuous, though, and Mara could soon realize he has no choice because the Manning situation took the split and dysfunction in the front office to a different emotional level this week. One source said there were more intense arguments and debates in the Giants' offices (and over the phones) than usual, and there appears to be little middle ground between the two sides.
Those who think Mara is about to fire McAdoo - and perhaps eventually Reese -- point out that the owner does not like chaos. He is also deeply concerned about the hit to the image of his once-well-respected franchise. The Giants have been portrayed as cold and unfeeling in regards to a franchise icon - including by a slew of once-loyal former players. And their communication issues - particularly between Mara and McAdoo over the Manning mess - has made them look clueless.
It hasn't helped that McAdoo's cold, robotic, refusal to address issues publicly has made him a terrible public face of the franchise. Nor has it helped that throughout it all, Reese has remained hidden - refusing to address the media until after the season, maintaining a policy he has held for years.
It all is a very bad look, and it could be getting worse. That's why, though Mara absolutely doesn't believe in making in-season changes to critical positions like head coach and GM, it's possible he's had enough of a mess that seems to get worse daily.
No doubt many others in the organization definitely already have.