6 Giants Defenders on Thin Ice After Shane Bowen Hiring

The Giants hiring Shane Bowen as defensive coordinator could lead to some big shakeups.

Dec 31, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants safety Dane Belton (24) returns an
Dec 31, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants safety Dane Belton (24) returns an / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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The separation between the New York Giants and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale wasn't exactly a pretty situation, but at least it didn't take the G-Men too long to fill that void.

They needed to be quick, since the Dallas Cowboys are also looking to hire a new defensive coordinator in the NFC East, and the Giants took the plunge by hiring former Tennessee Titans coordinator Shane Bowen.

A shakeup like this in the DC spot means big changes could be coming for the GIants' defense. And for some players, those changes are not going to be good ones.

These Giants defenders are on thin ice with a new boss on that side of the ball.

1. Kayvon Thibodeaux

You've gotta think Martindale had a big role in spending the No. 5 overall pick on a defensive standout just months after he was first hired in New York. And that gave him a lot of reason to be fully committed to Kayvon Thibodeaux.

A new DC means Thibodeaux's draft stock and past success aren't all that relevant any more. This is a "what have you done for me lately" league, and the answer to what Thibodeaux has done for Bowen is "nothing, yet."

Thibodeaux seemed to make some strides with an 11.5-sack season in 2023, but anyone who watched Giants games knows that number looks a lot more impressive than his play actually was. He got bullied agains the run, and while his sack total was nice, he also had long stretches where he looked lost as a pass-rusher.

Thibodeaux has the opportunity to become the leader at the core of this defense, but the flip-side of that is the potential that he falls out of favor with a new DC in town.