New York Giants: Jerry Reese Isn’t A Bad General Manager
Jerry Reese used to be a terrible general manager for the New York Giants—until he was almost fired. Now he’s one of the best in the NFL.
Is Jerry Reese a good general manager? Every New York Giants fan has their own opinion on the ten-year GM, but it’s safe to assume that the general sentiment is mostly negative.
There’s no doubt that Reese has had his stumbles—quite a few of them if we’re being honest. However, over the last three seasons, Reese has undergone a total transformation. He is no longer a bad general manager; in fact, he’s now one of the best.
Prior to the 2015 NFL draft, Reese was on the hot seat. After several largely unsuccessful drafts (with the exception of 2014) and multiple poor offseason signings, Giants fans and ownership were calling for Reese’s head.
At the end of a 2014 season that featured a 6-10 record with a whopping seven-game losing streak, John Mara was at the breaking point.
In December of 2014, Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News wrote of Mara’s discontent:
"“Mara is giving his coach/GM duo one more season, making it clear, however, that in 2015, losing is not an option. That is why Mara couldn’t disagree one bit when asked if next season will be a make-or-break one for the franchise’s brain trust: ‘I don’t think that’s an unfair statement,’ he said succinctly.”"
The Mara family ultimately decided to give Reese one last chance at success and they have surely not regretted it.
In a generally weak 2015 draft, Reese came out with a good set of guys. Yes, even the Ereck Flowers pick was a good one—at the time.
It wasn’t a secret that Brandon Scherff, current offensive guard for the Washington Redskins, was the Giants’ number one target. However, with him coming off the board four picks prior, Flowers was far and away the best available lineman.
Reese followed his well-known mantra of picking the best available player and drafted Flowers, who would turn out to be a massive headache for the Giants organization. No one—especially not Reese—was expecting Flowers to be the second most penalized player in the NFL in his second season.
Unfortunately, that’s the way the NFL draft goes. The 2015 draft will always be remembered by Giants fans as the year Reese messed up again and drafted Flowers, right? Wrong.
Enter Landon Collins.
The young safety out of Alabama was a consensus first-round pick, but was passed up by 32 teams on day one. Going into day two, the talk was that the Titans would have to draft him with the first pick in the second round.
I remember how downtrodden I was in the hours leading up the second night. I told anyone who would listen that I wished Reese would break out of his mold and do something flashy for once. I presented the idea of a trade up to snag Collins to a friend of mine. He laughed and said “like the Giants would ever trade up in the draft. C’mon man.”
You can imagine how hard my jaw hit the floor when Roger Goodell made the trade announcement.
That move, that pick, that trade—that was the beginning of Jerry Reese 2.0. Since that moment, the Giants have been one of the more aggressive—and successful—teams in football. After an ultimately unsuccessful 2015 season, Reese went on the biggest offseason spending spree in recent memory.
With three questionable, but flashy, signings (Janoris Jenkins, 5 years $62.5 million; Olivier Vernon, 5 years $85 million; Jason-Pierre Paul, 1 year $10 million) and one smart one (Damon Harrison, 5 years $46.5 million), Reese reshaped the Giants’defense.
Flash forward to the drafting of Eli Apple and you now have one of the most dominant defenses in the NFL.
In hindsight, all of these moves look incredible, but at the time, they were the most controversial moves in the NFL. Reese spent an absurd amount of money on four largely unproven players and drafted a cornerback that was by no means the top ranked player available.
For the first time in his career, Reese took some huge risks, and man did they pay off.
Talks of Reese being fired are not in the cards anymore, and it’s hard to imagine that they ever existed in the first place. This offseason, Reese has again been an active player in the free agency market. His moves are still risky and a hot topic among football fans.
The only difference is that I’m far less skeptical of him than I’ve been in the past.
For the first time in a long time, the Giants have developed a trusting relationship between the fans and management. Let’s all hope that the new Jerry Reese and the newfound success of our Giants are here to stay.
Must Read: Reasons to love the Brandon Marshall signing
What do you think New York Giants fans? Has Jerry Reese changed for good or is this only temporary success?