Defiant John Mara insists nepotism does not exist within Giants
New York Giants co-owner John Mara met with reporters via Zoom conference on Wednesday and did so with several strict rules in place.
First and foremost, the Zoom call was not to be livestreamed for anyone to see. Secondly, reporters in attendance were permitted only a single question before being muted and not allowed any follow-ups.
That setup allowed for Mara to completely control the conversation, as well as any and all information that would be made available.
Never was that more evident than when Mara shut down any suggestion that nepotism exists within the organization, essentially blaming that on a media fabrication.
“The perception [that family members aren’t held to accountability during this stretch] has been created by you and others,” Mara chided a reporter. “The reality is that in terms of my brother, my brother spent the bulk of his time doing the evaluation of college players. His grades go into our system, and he participates in the draft.
“All personnel decisions in this building, and this has always been the case, have been made by the general manager and the head coach. When they agree on a decision, they come to me with it. As long as they are both in agreement, I okay it.”
The irony of Mara’s statement — other than acknowledging that Chris Mara grades rookie prospects — is that the team announced just hours earlier that his brother was sitting in on general manager interviews.
Chris Mara was among those on the call. Exactly what Giants fans want to hear. https://t.co/QXtvjZiUgK
— TheGiantsWire (@TheGiantsWire) January 12, 2022
The Giants held their first such interview on Wednesday, meeting with Buffalo Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen. And Chris was right there alongside John and Steve Tisch.
“Chris is a very skilled evaluator, but he does not have any authority here other than that I will go to him on occasion and ask him about players,” Mara added.
And general manager candidates, apparently.
Outside of Chris, the Giants also employee another unfirable entity: Tim McDonnell, the team’s co-director of player personnel who just so happens to be John’s nephew (and Wellington Mara’s grandson).
“Tim is probably the most respected person we have in this building,” Mara boasted. “Coaches, front office staff, the general manager go to him and ask his advice on players because he’s a good evaluator, he’s worked his way up from the bottom, and he’s earned his stripes. He does not have any authority here.
“The personnel decisions have always been made, and will always be made by the general manager and the head coach. If they agree on a draft pick, on a UFA, then I’m going to okay it 99.99 percent of the time. The only reason I will raise an issue with that is if there’s a conduct issue. I’ll question them, I’ll make them defend their position, and make sure they’re on the same page. But, at the end of the day, if they’re in agreement, that’s the direction we’re going in.”
So, Chris evaluates rookies, provides grades and sits in on general manager interviews. Tim evaluates players and offers his input to both the general manager and head coach. And John signs off an all personnel moves after the GM and head coach consult him.
John did say one thing that rang true, however.
“I kept thinking during the season we had hit rock bottom, then each week it got a little worse,” Mara said.
Yes. Yes it did. And Wednesday’s Zoom conference call was no exception.