When the Giants make a big hire, their preference is always to keep it all in the family. They like people they know, who have ties to the franchise. They don't enjoy venturing into a great unknown.
That's why interim general manager Kevin Abrams might not just be a temporary fix to their front office problem. He is expected to be a serious candidate for the job.
He won't be the only candidate, of course, but Giants owners are known to have a great respect for Abrams, who has been a fixture in the franchise for more than 18 years. Yes, he's the salary cap guru and was the primary negotiator of contracts as the assistant GM for the last 16 years. But he's also been active on the scouting trail and worked hard to become more than just a money guy.
He is absolutely viewed around the league as a potential future general manager.
That will be a boost to his candidacy. So will be the Giants' decision to hire Abrams' former boss, Ernie Accorsi, as a consultant on their search. Accorsi, the former Giants GM, was a consultant for the Detroit Lions in 2016 when they were searching for a general manager, and he had them bring Abrams in for an interview. He almost certainly will be an advocate for Abrams again.
It will also help Abrams' cause that Giants co-owner John Mara doesn't want a new GM to shake up the entire existing front office. As Mara said on Monday, "I'm not anticipating there being wholesale changes, but again, that's largely going to be up to the new general manager." Abrams is probably unlikely to turn over an entire office of people with whom he's worked for years.
So don't rule him out. Abrams could be the perfect candidate for the Giants to maintain some semblance of normalcy and consistency. In general, Mara doesn't like change and he's not looking forward to his first front-office shakeup since Reese was hired in 2007. If he hires from outside the organization, it could bring the most seismic franchise shift since George Young was hired in 1979.
And the belief around the league is that Mara and Steve Tisch really don't want to go through something like that.
Who else could be a candidate to replace Reese as the next general manager of the Giants? Based on conversations with people around the league and with the Giants, here are a few names that keep coming up:
Dave Gettleman, former Panthers GM
He spent 14 seasons in the Giants, mostly as the pro personnel director, winning two Super Bowl rings. He then had a four-year stint as Carolina Panthers GM -- including building a 15-1 team that reached the Super Bowl -- before he was fired in July. He's 66, though, so this wouldn't be a long-term situation. If he was brought in to stabilize the franchise, maybe it would just be for a few years before he hands Abrams the reins.
Scott Pioli, assistant Falcons GM
He was a stealthy candidate for the Giants GM job when Reese was hired in 2007, but a source then insisted he got strong consideration. At the time, he was Patriots VP of player personnel. He went on to run the Kansas City Chiefs for four seasons, though only one was a winning year and he was fired after the Chiefs went 2-14 in 2012. It's his work with the Pats, though, that makes him an attractive candidate.
John Dorsey, former Chiefs GM
Working with Andy Reid, Dorsey helped restore the Chiefs' luster after they fired Pioli, which led to four straight winning seasons (three with double-digit wins) and three playoff berths. To the shock of many, though, he was fired last June after apparently losing a power struggle with Reid, something that theoretically wouldn't be an issue with the Giants.
Nick Caserio, Patriots director of player personnel
Pioli's successor in New England, Caserio kept the Patriots championship train running. Like most executives there, his accomplishments live in the shadow of Bill Belichick, so there is a feeling he would leave for the right job. There's also a feeling around the league that if he does leave, he would take Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels with him as his head coach. And the Giants are believed to be interested in McDaniels.
Eliot Wolf, Packers director of football operations
He's only 35, but has been in the Packers front office for more than a decade. Apparently Accorsi had his eye on him once before. Back in 2016, Wolf -- son of former Packers GM and Hall of Famer Ron Wolf -- was reportedly Accorsi's top choice to take over the Lions, but the Packers (and GM Ted Thompson) refused to let him interview for the job.
Lake Dawson, Bills assistant director of college scouting
He joined the Bills in May after spending nine years in the Tennessee Titans front office, mostly running their player personnel department. He has interviewed for several GM jobs in recent years, including with the Bears in 2015 and the Lions in 2016. Those, of course, were two searches run by Accorsi. If he liked him twice before, it's hard to imagine he won't bring him in for an interview again.
Trent Kirchner, Seahawks co-director of player personnel
He's a red-hot candidate whom the Colts and 49ers both interviewed earlier this year. He was also interviewed by the Lions in 2016 when Accorsi was consulting on their GM search. He also interviewed for the Jets job in 2015.