The New York Giants, once thought to be a favorite to win the NFC East, are a team in transition.

After a highly disappointing 2017 season, the Giants cut ties with head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese before the season ended, confirming big changes are in store for a team that has won two Super Bowls with quarterback Eli Manning.

After hiring Dave Gettleman as general manager, the next task is hiring a head coach. The Giants appear to have several candidates in mind, though the list could soon be dwindling. Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien was thought to be a potential candidate but he reportedly expects to stay put, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also bringing back Dirk Koetter.

Four out of Giants' top five coaching candidates are in the playoffs, so a decision may not be made for several weeks. Here's an early look at who the Giants might hire.

Jim Schwartz

The former Detroit Lions head coach and current Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator is considered the favorite, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. In five seasons with the Lions, Schwartz reached the playoffs once and had a 29-51 record.

But Schwartz, 51, has done a solid job running the Eagles' defense over the last two seasons. He is considered a safe choice.

Steve Spagnuolo

The Giants defensive coordinator is among the most respected defensive coordinators in the NFL and has stated that the Giants head coaching job has "always been something in my heart for a long time." 

Spagnuolo, 58, is still considered a longshot. As interim head coach, he had a 1-3 record and had a 10-38 record as head coach of the Rams.

Pat Shurmur

ESPN's Jordan Raanan reported that the Giants requested permission to interview the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator. The Michigan native is considered a top target for the Lions vacancy and is expected to be interviewed by the Arizona Cardinals. It wouldn't be surprising if Shurmur gives a stronger look to other teams as opposed to the Giants.

Josh McDaniels

It seems almost a given that McDaniels will get a second shot at a head coaching job after his mostly disappointing run with the Denver Broncos in 2009-10. But it remains unclear if it will be with the Giants, especially since the Giants went with McAdoo in 2016.  At 41 years old, McDaniels is the youngest candidate on this list and the New England Patriots offensive coordinator has had a successful run with the team since his arrival in 2012. He might think there's a chance he will one day replace Bill Belichick. 

Snatching away one of the Patriots' best minds would be a great start to Gettleman's career.

Matt Patricia

Like McDaniels, Gettleman is reportedly keen on the Patriots defensive coordinator. Gary Myers of the New York Daily News listed McDaniels and Patricia as "1 and 1A" in the coaching search. 

Patricia is 43 years old and is from New York state. Though he has never had a head coaching job, Patricia seems like the best fit for the Giants if McDaniels takes a pass.