Giants releasing Josh Brown won't make situation disappear

Giants mishandled Brown situation (2:16)

Jerome Bettis, Jeff Saturday and Tim Hasselbeck agree that the New York Giants mishandled Josh Brown and if they dealt with it upfront and got all the necessary information available earlier to them, they could have avoided the backlash. (2:16)

Almost nine weeks after New York Giants co-owner John Mara stood at the team facility and confidently stated he was comfortable with the decision to re-sign kicker Josh Brown, Brown was released by the team on Tuesday.

New information emerged last week after documents were released that contained admissions by Brown that he had physically, verbally and emotionally abused his wife. He was placed on the commissioner's exempt list Friday and cut by the Giants four days later.

An unnecessary distraction to the team that began this summer when Brown was suspended one game for violating the league's conduct policy is gone before the midway point of the season.

In retrospect, the Giants conceded, they were "misguided" in their handling of the Brown situation. Now they're trying to move on -- from Brown, from the ugliness of the situation and from the cloud that hovers over the franchise as they struggle to return to the postseason.

It might not be so easy. To start, Brown remains on the payroll. He's owed another $649K for this season. The Giants will also have to deal with the situation off the field, in the locker room and team facility and on the field.

Off the field

The Giants' reputation took a major hit in recent weeks, as it should have. They employed an admitted domestic abuser for three-plus years. They re-signed him this offseason despite a domestic-violence arrest (though he was not charged), an incident at the Pro Bowl and many more red flags than game-winning kicks. When Brown stood at the podium after his suspension was announced, they watched him call the incident that sparked the arrest "just a moment."

Brown's situation, which included Mara and coach Ben McAdoo supporting him as a man on multiple occasions, joins the team's handling of Odell Beckham Jr.'s sideline outbursts as ugly Giants moments that occurred early this season. And the season is only seven weeks old.

They'll look to regroup at the bye week, but it might take some time to rebuild that once pristine reputation.

In the locker room and facility

The Giants did their best to keep the domestic-violence accusations out of their locker room. Players barely touched on the subject, often falling back on their admitted ignorance of Brown's situation. Even though he's now gone, the topic and questions about what they knew and when won't simply disappear.

Players, executives and coaches will be inundated with questions in coming weeks. It's inevitable. They had a teammate or employee admit to abusing his wife.

General manager Jerry Reese still hasn't addressed the subject publicly. When he speaks, probably some time next week, he'll have to answer about what he knew and when, and why he felt comfortable re-signing Brown. It won't be pretty.

McAdoo also is likely to be skewered. He said Friday the Giants weren't going to "turn our back on Josh." Four days later, Brown is no longer on the roster.

And then there are players such as linebacker Mark Herzlich and quarterback Eli Manning, who have been vocal against domestic violence, until the topic entered their locker room. They, along with many of their teammates, will be asked questions about Brown when they return from their bye week.

The Brown situation is not going away so quickly.

On the field

This might be the easiest transition. The Giants signed kicker Robbie Gould late last week. He made his only field goal attempt in Sunday's win over the Los Angeles Rams and converted both extra points. Gould is a veteran, and there isn't expected to be much of a drop-off. He made a healthy 85 percent of his kicks last season; Brown made 94 percent. Neither were dominant on kickoffs.

If this trend holds, the difference in the second half of the season with Gould rather than Brown would be one missed field goal. They Giants had just better hope that miss isn't for a game-winner.