EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Coach Tom Coughlin signed a contract extension with the Giants on Wednesday, the top move amongst a flurry of activity on the second day of official business after the NFL lockout was lifted.
Coughlin, hired by the Giants in 2004, is now in the fold through the 2012 season, and he will take a 65-47 record into the season opener Sept. 11 at Washington. He was set to see his previous three-year contract expire at the end of the 2011 season. But the team decided to eliminate the lame-duck status and reward the coach who led the franchise to its third Super Bowl title.
Coughlin trails only Steve Owen (153) and Bill Parcells (77) on the franchise's all-time list for wins. He has guided the Giants to a Super Bowl championship, two NFC East titles and four playoff berths.
"As I was when I was hired in 2004, I am grateful for the opportunity," Coughlin said in a statement released by the team. "To be the head coach of the New York Giants is the fulfillment of a dream for somebody who grew up where I grew up and when I grew up."
Coughlin's postseason record is 4-3, and the Giants won at least 10 games in four of his first seven seasons.
"As we said after the season, we strongly believe in Tom," co-owner and team president John Mara said. "We believe in the job he has done, and we believe in his ability to lead our team in the future. Everybody was on the same page in arriving at the extension."
The Giants also announced the hiring of former New England Patriots Pro Bowl linebacker Larry Izzo as an assistant special teams coach. Izzo retired in 2009 after 14 seasons. Izzo, who won three Super Bowl titles in New England, will assist special teams coordinator Tom Quinn.
And although moves cannot be officially made until Friday, there has been activity at the Meadowlands.
A day after releasing veteran offensive linemen Shaun O'Hara, Shawn Andrews and Rich Seubert to clear salary-cap room, the team came to terms with center David Baas, who spent six years in San Francisco after being drafted in the 2005 second round out of Michigan. The 29-year-old Baas has played most of his NFL career at guard, but started the last eight games of the 2010 season at center.
It is believed that Baas could become the replacement for O'Hara at center, but there is also a chance that the Giants bring O'Hara and Seubert back at reduced salaries. Both are recovering from offseason surgeries.
The Giants also agreed to a deal with offensive tackle Kevin Boothe on a two-year deal. That contract was confirmed in an e-mail to the Associated Press.
The Giants are also close to cutting ties with defensive tackle Rocky Bernard, after a restructured deal could not be ironed out. Bernard was slated to make $2.9 million this season. And this comes on the heels of news that another former Giants defensive tackle, Barry Cofield, signed a six-year deal with Redskins.
There are issues in the backfield, as well. The Giants are in negotiations with running back Brandon Jacobs, hoping to restructure his deal in order to get the team under the proposed $120.4 million salary cap.
The Giants are also still in the mix their top running back, Ahmad Bradshaw, who is a free agent and is mulling a new contract offer.
Also Wednesday, Coughlin was supposed to meet with former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress. But there was no word on whether the meeting took place.
Several Giants, including quarterback Eli Manning, defensive end Justin Tuck and Jacobs, were spotted entering the parking lot at the Giants Timex Performance Center. No players were made accessible to the media.
For the second straight day, it was a mad scramble outside the main gate, with cameramen and videographers shooting every single vehicle that passed through.
Training camp is expected to officially open Friday.