Tom Coughlin 'steps down' as Giants coach: Six things to know

Tom Coughlin is out as Giants coach, league sources tell CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

Coughlin has informed his coaching staff he is not returning, with multiple reports indicating Coughlin is "stepping down," a largely semantics-based notion, although Coughlin did leave the Giants before they could fire him.

"I met with John Mara and Steve Tisch this afternoon, and I informed them that it is in the best interest of the organization that I step down as head coach," Coughlin said. "I strongly believe the time is right for me and my family, and as I said, the Giants organization.

"It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as head coach of the New York Football Giants. This is a not a sad occasion for me. I have spent 15 years with this organization as an assistant and head coach and was fortunate to be part of three Super Bowl winning teams. A Lombardi Trophy every five years is an achievement in which we all take great pride.

"Obviously, the past three years have not been what any of us expect, and as head coach, I accept the responsibility for those seasons."

Coughlin is apparently not retiring but rather just leaving the Giants, making the idea of his future as a coach moving forward very interesting.

Here's six things to know about the future for Coughlin and the Giants:

1. Out but not gone: Coughlin is stepping down ahead of the Giants making a potential decision to fire him. Which means he’s leaving the Giants but he’s not leaving football. 

Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports report Coughlin would be interested in other coaching jobs should they be presented. With his résumé -- the two Lombardis speak for themselves -- it wouldn’t be surprising if someone else gave him a shot at fixing their franchise.

2. Where next? Coughlin is 69 so we’re not talking about a long-term solution here. But there are some dysfunctional franchises out there who could use a little kick in the rear and maybe Coughlin is the guy.

The Colts are a train wreck with solid personnel pieces. Coughlin might fit the idea of a Jim Irsay “big-name” hire.

The Browns could be desperate if no one's interested and maybe Coughlin is willing to try and grind out the AFC North for a few years.

The 49ers could desperately use some stability and all Jed York talked about on Monday was finding a Super Bowl winning coach. Coughlin checks the box.

3. Jerry Reese safe? It sounds like GM Jerry Reese will keep his job. The Giants are the pinnacle of consistency and patience so no real surprise there.

But this roster is far from perfect. Eli Manning is a franchise quarterback and Odell Beckham is one of the best young wideouts in the game. Still, there's a serious deficiency of talent in many other areas.

That falls on Reese at the end of the day. But for now he's not being held accountable. Presumably the Giants will go with a traditional power structure unless a big-name head coach is attracted to the job (and there will be plenty of them).

4. Nothing if not consistent: Coughlin will leave the Giants with a .531 winning percentage, which is, rather amazingly, the exact same winning percentage he had in Jacksonville while coaching the Jaguars.

5. Good old Pete: With Coughlin now unemployed, the current oldest head coach in the NFL is Pete Carroll of the Seahawks. Dude is the spryest 64-year-old on the planet. Bill Belichick (63), Bruce Arians (63) and Jim Caldwell (60) are all next.

Also surprising: Jason Garrett is now the longest-tenured coach in the NFC East, followed by Jay Gruden. Not For Long, indeed.

6. Giants candidates: This is going to be a star-studded list. If you’re a big name in coaching you’re going to be associated with this gig.

Nick Saban is at least a guy to think about. There’s a franchise quarterback, a weak division and talent on the offensive side of the ball (Beckham!) already in place. He can build a defense.

Sean Payton previously coached with the Giants as offensive coordinator and is a Bill Parcells disciple (always popular in New York). If he’s released by the Saints -- or open for a trade -- he would be a very interesting fit to get the offense going again.

You want to talk about a guy who could be mentioned for a job? How about Jon Gruden. Same division as his little brother, a huge name, a Lombardi Trophy on his résumé. Just throwing it out there.

Coughlin guided the Giants to two Super Bowl wins. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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