New York Giants starting free safety Xavier McKinney has found himself in some turbulent positions as of late. Making some harsh comments and projecting blame outward, the coaching staff has had to pick up the pieces and stifle potential locker room problems.
Xavier McKinney has been critical of his team in recent weeks
At the trade deadline after the Giants moved Leonard Williams to the Seattle Seahawks, McKinney spoke to the media and made it evident that he was disappointed that the team seemed to be calling it an early season and essentially giving up.
After losing to the Las Vegas Raiders last weekend, he called out the coaching staff for their lack of communication and failure to listen to some of the captains.
“I think that from a leadership standpoint, I don’t think they’ve done a great job of letting the leaders lead, and listening to the leaders and the captains,” McKinney told ESPN.
- Giants: Why Kayvon Thibodeaux should make the Pro Bowl
- Giants’ Joe Schoen blames injuries for offensive line woes
- Giants GM declares Evan Neal ‘needs to play better’
Giants DC Wink Martindale responds to McKinney’s comments
Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale spoke to the media earlier this week, responding to McKinney’s harsh criticism. Of course, none of the other captains agreed with the sentiment, and they were forced to deal with this problem behind closed doors, an issue that should’ve never been public.
“I mean it surprised me because it’s the first time it’s ever happened in my career that a player would make a statement like that,” he said. “I think it was a case where the kid is just frustrated from losing.”
Ultimately, McKinney is talking his way right off the team since he’s set to hit free agency after the season, and the Giants failed to give him an extension before the 2023 campaign started. McKinney has played 568 snaps this year, collecting 45 tackles and 10 stops with a 60% reception rate, including 115 yards and two pass breakups.
“I think you grow from that, and I just told him that’s something that it hurts the locker room. It hurts the defensive room when you say something like that.”Wink Martindale responding to Xavier McKinney’s comments
Martindale stated that he was personally offended by the comments McKinney made, but they had buried the hatchet and moved on.
“It did [hurt me] because I’ve always been open, and I’ve always been honest with players,” Martindale said. “I think if you have a problem, it’s just how we handle things in that room.”
Unfortunately, the season is at such a low point that it was only a matter of time before players began to voice their concerns. There’s a very real chance that McKinney will end up elsewhere in 2024, and his current attitude certainly doesn’t help convince the Giants to offer him a new deal.