The Giants' search for an offensive coordinator isn't over yet.
It appeared to be close to an end late last week, until the Minnesota Vikings formally denied permission for the Giants to interview their quarterbacks coach, Kevin Stefanski, for the job. The move, first reported by ESPN, stopped new Giants coach - and former Vikings offensive coordinator - Pat Shurmur from landing what a source said was his top choice for the job.
That could lead the Giants to current Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley, who is believed to be high on Shurmur's list, too. However, the 42-year-old Staley is under contract with Philadelphia, according to a league source, and the Eagles might block him from interviewing with the Giants, too.
If that happens, the Giants could turn to former Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who has reportedly spoken with Shurmur about the job. But he's also high in the Indianapolis Colts' list for their offensive coordinator job, so Shurmur could have trouble luring him, as well.
That's a complicated web involving multiple teams, and one the Giants hoped to avoid by hiring the 35-year-old Stefanski, who was Shurmur's right-hand man in Minnesota. He was a candidate to replace Shurmur as the Vikings' offensive coordinator, but that job was filled Friday by former Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo.
Once Stefanski was passed over for that job, it was thought Vikings coach Mike Zimmer would allow him to pursue other opportunities. But instead he chose to keep a bright, young coach who worked so well with their quarterbacks last year.
NFL teams are not required to allow assistant coaches under contract to interview for assistant coach jobs on other teams, even if that job is seen as a promotion. They only have to let assistants interview for head-coaching jobs.
Unfortunately for the Giants, when the Vikings hired DeFilippo it also complicated any potential pursuit of Staley. It seems doubtful the newly crowned Super Bowl champs would let another assistant leave, especially to go to a division rival. They also have blocked valued assistants in the past - including last year when they prevented DeFilippo from interviewing for the Jets' offensive coordinator job (DeFilippo's contract expired this year, so he couldn't be blocked from signing with Minnesota).
Also a factor: The Eagles' now former offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, was named the new head coach of the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, days after that job reopened when Josh McDaniels backed out of it. Staley could be a candidate to replace Reich in Philadelphia, and even if he's not, it's hard to imagine the Super Bowl champs will let Staley go after they've already lost two important offensive coaches in Reich and DeFilippo.
And while all that could lead the Giants to Bevell, who is free to take any job, he's far from a certainty too. He was reportedly lined up, but not signed, to join McDaniels in Indy as the Colts offensive coordinator. And while the McDaniels reversal made that uncertain, Colts GM Chris Ballard and Bevell were college football teammates at Wisconsin, and Ballard reportedly discussed the idea of hiring Bevell as their offensive coordinator with all the coaches he interviewed. It's not known if Reich is willing to hire Bevell, too
If the Giants are unable to land Staley or Bevell, it's unclear where they would turn - though former Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin might be a name to watch, given his connections to new Giants (and former Cardinals) defensive coordinator James Bettcher. Given how quickly Shurmur filled all the jobs on his staff except for quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, it was clear he was waiting in Stefanski and/or Staley, with Bevell as the fallback option.
Shurmur, meanwhile, has said he will hire an offensive coordinator even though he plans to run his own offense and call his own plays with the Giants. He tried to do the job on his own during his first year as a head coach in Cleveland in 2011, but he said one of the lessons he learned from that is that it's too big of a job for a head coach to handle alone.