Brian Daboll Impressed with Malik Nabers' Maturity

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll lauded the way Malik Nabers handled a potentially costly gambit.
Daboll at Rookie Minicamp
Daboll at Rookie Minicamp / Chris Pedota, / USA
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If receiver  Malik Nabers is going to drop anything as a member of the New York Giants, head coach Brian Daboll is certainly glad it's this.

Daboll commended Nabers's handling of an early self-created obstacle in his NFL career: a friendly wager he was set to stage with his collegiate teammate and new division rival, Jayden Daniels. 

The Giants receiver and the Washington Commanders' franchise quarterback were set to wager $10,000 in cash on one of them winning the "Rookie of the Year" award, but each confirmed the wager was called off after both learned of the league's gambling policy.

Daboll was pleased with how the 20-year-old Nabers handled the situation.

"I think he's a mature young guy (and) was happy with the way he handled it," Daboll said as the Giants wrapped up rookie minicamp activities over the weekend. 

"There are rules in our league, and we’ll do everything we can to follow (them). I'd say our support staff have conversations with all our guys. Rookies, you even have more. So they did a good job, and look, this guy is a good, young kid, and I think he put that behind him."

Malik Nabers (left) and Jayden Daniels.
Malik Nabers (left) and Jayden Daniels. / Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports

Nabers and Daniels formed a strong connection at Louisiana State University as college teammates. Nabers became the most decorated receiver in program history after catching passes from Daniels, the current holder of the Heisman Trophy. 

The Giants chose Nabers as the sixth pick of last month's draft, with four selections after the Commanders named Daniels as the latest entry in their quarterback carousel. 

Nabers indirectly served as a whistleblower on the scheme, previously disclosing the bet on The Pivot Podcast. Daniels, in turn, playfully told off Nabers for unintentionally squealing during an appearance on the All Facts No Brakes with Keyshawn Johnson podcast

As sports betting continues to gain further legal support across the country, the NFL has cracked down hard on its players who engage in such activities. Calvin Ridley, then of the Atlanta Falcons, was suspended for the entire 2022 season for betting on NFL games when he was away from the team the year before. 

Three Indianapolis Colts defenders—Rashod Berry, Isaiah Rodgers, and Demetrius Taylor—were suspended indefinitely last summer for betting on NFL games and released by the Colts immediately afterward. 

Berry and Taylor were reinstated earlier this spring, but Rodgers' case remains under review.

Nabers and Daniels will soon learn where and when their first showdown will be staged, as the NFL is set to release the 2024 regular season schedule this week. But if each wants to top the other, they'll have to do it on the field to help their respective teams emerge victorious against the other.

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Geoff Magliocchetti