By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants and New England Patriots assistant Joe Judge are working on a deal for him to become the team’s head coach, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the deal is not done.
Judge has won three Super Bowls with New England in eight years as an assistant on Bill Belichick’s staff. He was the fifth candidate the Giants interviewed since firing Pat Shurmur last week. Among those, Mike McCarthy agreed Monday to become the Dallas Cowboys’ new coach and Matt Rhule, who was supposed to interview with New York, is headed to the Carolina Panthers, according to people familiar with those situations.
The third new coach tabbed for the NFC East in three days — Ron Rivera was hired by the Washington Redskins on Sunday — Judge would take over a team that went 4-12 and 5-11 in Shurmur’s two seasons and has been to the playoffs just once since winning the Super Bowl after the 2011 season.
But the Patriots’ special team coordinator and wide receiver coach would inherit a team with a talented young quarterback in Daniel Jones and former rookie of the year running back Saquon Barkley. The Giants have the fourth pick in this year’s draft.
The Patriots lost to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night in the wild-card round.
The 38-year-old Judge has coached for 15 years. He was part of the Patriots staff that helped guide the team to Super Bowls titles in the 2014, ’16 and ’18 seasons.
He joined the Patriots as a special teams assistant in 2012, following a three-year stint in the same role under Alabama coach Nick Saban. He won titles with the Crimson Tide in 2009 and ’11. He also has coached at Mississippi State and Birmingham-Southern.
Judge was named the Patriots’ special teams coordinator in 2015. New England consistently ranked as one of the NFL’s top special teams units under Judge, who was also placed in charge of the Patriots’ receivers in 2019. He coached kicker Stephen Gostkowski to the All-Pro team in 2015 and special teams captain Matt Slater to the same honors in 2016 and this season.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick called Judge “an excellent coach” and said he excelled in his added duties this season.
“Joe’s done a great job. He’s done a great job with the kicking game,” Belichick said. “He’s expanded the role a little bit and that’s kind of had a little bit of a ripple effect in the way we’ve organized the kicking game, but that’s all worked out pretty efficiently. Joe’s done a good job of organizing that, as well as taking care on some other things with the offense and particularly receivers.”
Judge met with Giants co-owner John Mara, general manager Dave Gettleman and vice president of football operations Kevin Abrams at the team’s New Jersey headquarters on Monday.
The Giants had been expected this week to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Baylor’s Rhule.
Others interviewed were Kris Richard, the Dallas defensive assistant coach and former Seattle defensive coordinator; Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy; and Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale.
AP Sports Writers Schuyler Dixon in Frisco, Texas; Steve Reed in Charlotte, N.C.; and Kyle Hightower in Foxborough, Mass., contributed to this report.
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