Front Office

Jerry Reese
Sr. VP and General Manager

Biography

Jerry Reese is in his 11th season as the Giants’ Senior Vice President and General Manager. In Reese’s first 10 seasons as head of the franchise’s football operations, the Giants won Super Bowls XLII and XLVI and had an 88-72 regular-season record, including an 8-2 postseason mark. During his tenure, the Giants have won two NFC East championships, earned four postseason berths and finished .500 or better seven times.
Jerry Reese is in his 11th season as the Giants’ Senior Vice President and General Manager. In Reese’s first 10 seasons as head of the franchise’s football operations, the Giants won Super Bowls XLII and XLVI and had an 88-72 regular-season record, including an 8-2 postseason mark. During his tenure, the Giants have won two NFC East championships, earned four postseason berths and finished .500 or better seven times.

Reese was named the Giants’ general manager on Jan. 16, 2007. He succeeded Ernie Accorsi, who had held the position for nine years before retiring. Reese has been a member of the Giants organization since 1994. Prior to becoming the G.M., he spent four seasons as the team’s Director of Player Personnel. Reese coordinated the Giants’ college scouting, was in charge of the team’s draft preparation and ran the draft room as the Giants made their selections. When Accorsi retired, the team’s ownership chose Reese as the team’s third general manager since 1979, when the late George Young assumed the position. Young held the position until 1997, when Accorsi took over. Accorsi, who had helped convince Reese to leave college scouting and join the pro personnel department of the Giants, promoted him to director of player personnel and advocated that he succeed him.

The selection of Reese was historic, as he was the third African-American general manager in NFL history, joining Baltimore’s Ozzie Newsome and Houston’s Rick Smith. It was particularly poignant for Reese to learn of his appointment on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

“I thought about that a lot and it was absolutely perfect timing for this to happen,” Reese said. “I don’t mean to sound cliché, but I really feel it’s my time to carry the torch. There are many people who went before me who really suffered through this process, and now it’s my time. I’m going to be successful – I have to be successful on a lot of levels.”

And he has been. Last year, Reese made a series of shrewd offseason moves that helped the Giants finish 11-5 and earn a wild card playoff berth. The Giants won five more games than they had in 2015, the team’s greatest one-year improvement since 2005.

In 2016, Reese focused his offseason efforts on a defense that struggled throughout the previous season. The Giants signed defensive linemen Damon Harrison and Olivier Vernon, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and linebackers Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard, and selected cornerback Eli Apple 10th overall in the NFL Draft. Last season, Landon Collins, the safety whom Reese traded up to select in the second round of the 2015 draft and Janoris Jenkins were the first Giants to be selected first-team All-Pros since 2011. Jenkins and Collins played in their first Pro Bowl, and Jenkins, Vernon and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a free agent acquisition in 2014, were all named second-team All-Pro.
More importantly, the play of the newcomers enabled the Giants to have the NFL’s most improved defense in 2016.

The Giants were second in the NFL with 284 points allowed, one season after they ranked 30th after giving up 442 points. The 158-point decrease in points allowed was by far the NFL’s highest; Philadelphia was second with a 99-point drop. The Giants were the first NFL team to allow at least 158 fewer points than the previous season since the 2002 Indianapolis Colts (173 points). The Giants allowed 17.8 points per game, the lowest average by their opponents since 2002, when they gave up 17.4 points a game.

The Giants allowed an NFL-low 25 offensive touchdowns, including 13 touchdown passes, the league’s second-lowest figure.

In addition, the Giants ranked 10th in the NFL, allowing 5,435 yards (339.7 a game), one season after finishing 32nd by yielding 6,725 yards (420.3 a game). The 1,290-yard improvement was the league’s best; the Eagles were second with 942 fewer yards allowed. The Giants were the first team to give up at least 1,290 fewer yards than the previous season since the 2013 New Orleans Saints (2,151). They held their final eight opponents to less than 400 total yards, their longest such streak in a single season since 2013. The Giants held their opponents to less than 100 rushing yards in 10 games, their highest total since they did it 10 times in 2001.

In 2015, free agents Shane Vereen, Dwayne Harris, Marshall Newhouse, Jonathan Casillas and J.T. Thomas all signed on the same day, and each contributed significantly that season. Vereen was second on the team in rushing (260 yards on 61 carries) and receiving (59 catches for 494 yards and four touchdowns). Harris finished third in the NFL with a 28.7-yard average on 22 kickoff returns, including a 100-yard runback vs. Dallas on Oct. 25, and he was seventh in the league with a 10.0-yard average on 34 punt returns, including an 80-yard touchdown against the Jets. Harris was selected to the 2017 Pro Bowl as a special teams standout. Newhouse started 14 games at right tackle, Casillas was the team’s second-leading tackler, and Thomas was a consistent contributor despite battling an ankle injury. Punter Brad Wing, obtained in a trade on Sept 4, placed 33 kicks inside the 20-yard line, tying the team record set by Brad Maynard in 1997 and ‘98. In 2016, Wing set a franchise record with a 40.9-yard net average on 93 punts.

The Giants’ 2015 draft has also paid dividends. First-round selection Ereck Flowers started all but one game at left tackle in his first two years. Collins has started every game, and led the Giants in tackles in each of his first two seasons.

In 2014, a strong Giants draft class was highlighted by first-round selection Odell Beckham Jr., who had the greatest season by a rookie wide receiver in NFL history. In just 12 games, Beckham caught 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns, all franchise rookie records. He was named the Associated Press’ Offensive Rookie of the Year, the first Giants player to be so honored in the 58-year history of the award. Beckham is the first Giants player since Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons; Taylor did it from 1981-83. Beckham’s career totals of 288 catches, 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns all shattered the previous franchise records for a player in his first three NFL seasons.

Starting center Weston Richburg, linebacker Devon Kennard, and defensive tackle Jay Bromley were also members of that draft class.

In 2013, the Giants were 7-9, ending their streak of non-losing seasons at eight in a row, their longest such stretch since they were at least .500 in 10 consecutive seasons from 1954-63.

The 2012 Giants finished 9-7, the same record they had the previous season when they won the Super Bowl for the second time during Reese’s tenure. It was the second time in five opportunities the Giants followed a Super Bowl appearance with a winning record (they also did it in 2008); Reese was the general manager each time. One of the highlights of the season was the development of the draft class brought in by Reese and his staff, notably running back David Wilson and wide receiver Rueben Randle. Wilson’s promising career ended prematurely when he was forced to retire with a neck injury. Victor Cruz, originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010, had his second big season in a row, with 86 catches for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Reese and the Giants enjoyed great success in 2011. In the transaction frenzy that followed the end of the lockout, Reese added or re-signed several players who became standouts on the Super Bowl XLVI champions, including running back Ahmad Bradshaw, defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, offensive lineman Kevin Boothe, safety Deon Grant, center David Baas, punter Steve Weatherford, defensive lineman Dave Tollefson and defensive tackle Rocky Bernard. Cruz emerged from obscurity to set a franchise record with 1,536 receiving yards on 82 catches. He also scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl victory over New England. Hakeem Nicks, the Giants’ 2009 first-round draft choice, caught 76 passes for 1,192 yards, and led the team in its four-game postseason with 28 receptions, 444 yards and four touchdowns. The Giants added an impressive rookie class that included cornerback Prince Amukamara, fullback Henry Hynoski and linebackers Jacquian Williams, Spencer Paysinger and Mark Herzlich, all of whom contributed for several seasons.

Reese helped put the Giants on the road to a championship soon after becoming general manager in 2007. That year, he re-signed center Shaun O’Hara, which kept an outstanding offensive line intact, and added linebacker Kawika Mitchell via free agency and running back Reuben Droughns and kicker Lawrence Tynes in trades. He drafted eight players – Aaron Ross, Steve Smith, Jay Alford, Zak DeOssie, Kevin Boss, Adam Koets, Michael Johnson and Ahmad Bradshaw – who all played during the postseason. During the season, the Giants added important players like fullback Madison Hedgecock and wide receiver/kickoff returner Domenik Hixon.

In addition to helping the Giants win a championship as rookies, many of those players made important contributions in later years. Smith set the franchise record with 107 receptions in 2009. Bradshaw led the Giants in rushing in three consecutive seasons (2010-12) and twice ran for more than 1,000 yards. DeOssie is a two-time Pro Bowl long snapper.

In 2008, Reese’s ability to acquire important players helped the Giants win the NFC East title with a 12-4 record. When Tynes was injured in the preseason, Reese signed 21-year veteran John Carney, whose 143 points were then the second most in Giants history. The Giants also drafted Kenny Phillips, Terrell Thomas and Mario Manningham, all of whom made significant contributions to successful teams.

Reese continued to acquire key players in 2009-10.Defensive tackle Chris Canty was a stalwart up front, and started all 20 games in the 2011 championship season. Reese shored up a position where the Giants were short-staffed by importing safeties Antrel Rolle and Grant. Those two safeties teamed with Phillips to give the Giants much-improved play at that vital position. Rolle was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team.

The 2010 first-round draft choice was defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, whose 4.5 sacks were the most by a Giants rookie since Cornelius Griffin had 5.0 in 2000. Pierre-Paul was one of the very best defensive players in the NFL in the 2011 championship season, when his 16.5 sacks were the fourth-highest total in Giants history. JPP joined Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor and Michael Strahan as the only Giants with at least 16 sacks in a season. JPP was selected to his first Pro Bowl and was named first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press. He was twice selected NFC Defensive Player of the Week in December – when he was also named NFC Defensive Player of the Month. In 2012, Pierre-Paul played in his second Pro Bowl, this time as a starter.

While serving as the Giants’ Director of Player Personnel, Reese oversaw all aspects of the team’s college scouting. During his tenure as personnel director, the Giants drafted Osi Umenyiora, David Diehl, David Tyree, Chris Snee, Gibril Wilson, Justin Tuck, Brandon Jacobs, Barry Cofield, Corey Webster and Kiwanuka, as well as Philip Rivers, who was sent to San Diego in the trade the delivered Eli Manning to the Giants. All of those players were prominent in the 2007 championship season and beyond.

    Reese originally joined the Giants’ scouting department on Dec. 15, 1994. In the spring of 1999, he became Dave Gettleman’s assistant in the pro personnel department. In that position, he scouted the Giants’ upcoming opponents and evaluated NFL players. Reese was promoted to Director of Player Personnel on May 1, 2002.

Reese came to the Giants after a successful playing and coaching career at the University of Tennessee at Martin. During his college playing career (1981-84), Reese was honored as a two-time All-Gulf South Conference pick. He is among the leaders on UT-Martin’s all-time career list in interceptions. Reese led the team with 7 interceptions in 1982 and was UT-Martin’s leading tackler in 1984 with 99. Reese was GSC Defensive Player of the Week three times during his career and was named team MVP following his senior season.

Following his playing career, Reese served as a student assistant and as a graduate assistant before becoming a full-time coach of the secondary from 1988-93. He moved to receivers coach and assumed the assistant head coach title in January of 1993.

In 2008, Reese was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Reese has his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and earned his master’s degree in education administration and supervision. In the fall of 1995, Reese was inducted into the UT-Martin Hall of Fame.

Reese, a native of Tiptonville, Tenn. is married to the former Gwen Moore. They have two children, Jasmyne Danielle and Jerry II.