By Jason Keidel
» More Columns

If Tom Coughlin didn’t resent the Giants before, he has 204 million reasons now.

READ MORE: NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora Still In Critical Condition Following Deadly Shooting In Harlem

Coughlin was gutted by a dearth of decent talent on defense, reduced to Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., and prayer. Then Beckham went Travis Bickle on the Panthers, all but sealing Coughlin’s doom.

So when the old coach cracks open his local newspaper and sees that his old bosses have dropped $204.25 million on a cluster of defensive studs, he surely upped the intensity during his morning workout at the Giants’ gym.

And while the Giants have jumped on the serendipity of a swollen salary cap and a fertile free agent class, this feels like a binary message: Jerry Reese wants to save his job and grow some distance between the old coaching regime and the new one.

Who wins? Ben McAdoo. Despite their 6-10 record and woeful history of blowing late-game leads — not all of which fell upon the defense — McAdoo has somehow been presented as a messiah, the young savant who can fill the emotional and schematic holes Coughlin left behind.

The Giants’ tireless search for Coughlin’s replacement — a worldwide headhunt for fertile coaching minds — led them to the office two doors down.

No doubt Manning has prospered under McAdoo. But he won two Super Bowls under Coughlin. Maybe McAdoo is the answer. The Giants are certainly spending like he is.

Though there’s conflicting data about these late-winter splurges — some suggest the teams that spend the most yield the least — the Giants are undeniably better this week than they were last week.

Olivier Vernon is the latest in a conga line of players the Giants acquired this week. Reese also added Janoris Jenkins and (former Jet) Damon Harrison to round out a new Big Blue defense, robust for the first time in some time.

READ MORE: Westchester Police Departments To Travel To Harlem In Tribute To Fallen NYPD Officer Jason Rivera

Add returning vets Jason Pierre-Paul and Victor Cruz, and Coughlin’s famously rosy face must be apple red right now.

Unlike the Jets, who are now gushing sweat at the soaring value of Ryan Fitzpatrick — if Brock Osweiler is worth $72 million, what’s the market for a 10-win QB in NYC? — the Giants have a potential Hall of Fame QB in his relative prime.

Plus, the Giants don’t have to sprain their necks gazing up at the Patriots every season. Unlike Eli’s older brother, who clearly burned every fiber in his formerly divine arm, Tom Brady is playing like a millennial.

The Giants play in the anemic NFC East, a division won by default these days. Does anyone really believe Washington has a vice grip on first place? While games aren’t won on paper, the Giants are, on paper, the best team in the division today.

The Cowboys don’t know if Tony Romo’s brittle collarbone (broken twice last year) will hold up. Philadelphia is still purging the rancid aftertaste of Chip Kelly. And the Redskins have just franchise tagged a QB with one good season under his belt.

Buying players, with the idea of buying a championship, is always perilous. Just ask the Yankees, who have spent billions over the last 15 years and have bagged just one World Series.

But Big Blue fans have reason to smile. Life should be much better this year.

Unless you coached them last year.

MORE NEWS: Lashawn McNeil, Suspect In Deadly Harlem Police Shooting, Was On Probation, Had 5 Prior Arrests

Follow Jason on Twitter at @JasonKeidel