How perception can change during the course of a few weeks and with one silver trophy: Tom Coughlin, once on the coaching hot seat, is close to receiving a contract extension from the New York Giants, according to multiple media outlets.
Negotiations over a new deal, first reported Tuesday by Newsday, are ongoing and expected to be completed before the end of the week. Coughlin, 61, will receive a substantial bump in pay to about $5 million a year for four years.
Coughlin had signed a four-year deal worth $12 million with the Giants when he was hired in 2004, but essentially was working on a year-to-year basis the past couple of seasons. After a lackluster 2006 season, when the Giants went 8-8 and squeaked into the playoffs, Coughlin and the team agreed to a one-year extension to avoid the appearance Coughlin was a lame duck. But the message was clear -- the team had to experience a major transformation, or Coughlin would be out the door.
Things weren't looking so good after the Giants started 0-2, and their major investment, quarterback Eli Manning, appeared lost. An outstanding run through the playoffs -- the Giants beat the Buccaneers, Cowboys and Packers, all on the road -- and a stunning Super Bowl upset against the New England Patriots changed everything.
Coughlin and the Giants coaching staff will be on hand at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. Barring any late complications, an announcement could be made within days.
As Giants co-owner Steve Tisch told the New York Daily News last week regarding contract talks, "It's coming, but it's not like root canal is coming. This is going to be a very pleasant experience."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.