Is Dave Gettleman the right fit for New York Giants?
By Henry Buggy
A familiar face may be returning to Big Blue’s front office.
Former Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman has reportedly emerged as the frontrunner for the New York Giants vacant general manager position and a reunion may be in store before season’s end.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports the two sides are expected to “formally talk this week.” Gettleman’s long history with Big Blue and former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi will likely help his case. Gettleman, 66, spent over a decade in New York’s pro personnel department and has stayed in contact with Accorsi, who is now serving as a consultant for owners John Mara and Steve Tisch.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora wrote on Sunday that there’s “a strong sense around the league than any other hire would be an upset.”
Benefits Of Hiring Gettleman
There are plenty of benefits in hiring someone who has already worked within the organization, and the biggest may be New York’s ability to keep interim general manager Kevin Abrams aboard while still hiring Gettleman.
New York Giants
Abrams served as the team’s salary cap analyst before being promoted to assistant general manager and has already shown the ability to work alongside Gettleman.
The two could look to rework Big Blue’s roster while searching for the franchise’s next head coach. Both understand what’s expected from ownership.
In four full seasons as Carolina’s general manager, Gettleman amassed a 40-23-1 record. The Panthers reached the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history during his tenure.
Carolina posted a franchise-best 15-1 record during the 2015 season. And the Panthers are on pace to make the postseason (9-4) again in 2017.
Panthers owner Jerry Richardson surprisingly fired Gettleman back in July. He was reportedly in a “shaky place with ownership” ever since Josh Norman was allowed to walk in free agency.
The loss of Norman visibly impacted Carolina’s secondary during the 2016 season, but the Panthers’ 6-10 record was a result of multiple issues, including injuries to Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly.
It’s clear Gettleman helped build a strong foundation in Carolina, and the Giants would surely benefit from having their next general manager in place before season’s end. It would allow New York’s front office to center the focus on the head coaching search. It would also allow the franchise to start planning for free agency and the draft immediately after the regular season.
There are multiple benefits to hiring Gettleman in-season. But there are some counterpoints in waiting for some candidates that are currently employed by other NFL franchises.
Gettleman’s Draft History
During Gettleman’s tenure in Carolina, he has made some terrific draft selections. But he has also left many fans scratching their heads with some of his picks.
Selecting Kawann Short with the No. 44 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft may have been his best selection. And the development of offensive lineman Trai Turner, wide receiver Devin Funchess, and cornerback James Bradberry has made all the difference for the Carolina franchise.
While Short, Funchess, and Bradberry look like draft steals at this point of their NFL careers, Panthers first-rounds picks Christian McCaffrey, Star Lotulelei, and Shaq Thompson are all arguably reaches given their overall draft selections.
The Giants have struggled to build their roster through the draft in recent years. Former general manager Jerry Reese continually reached on multiple players during his tenure.
The Giants will want to avoid another general manager that reaches on draft selections but there is one big difference between the two longtime NFL executives.
Reese’s biggest downfall was Big Blue’s offensive line, and that may be Gettleman’s best selling point. The former Panthers general manager made the trenches a point of emphasis during his time in Carolina. Gettleman signed or drafted four of the five starting offensive linemen for the Panthers in 2017.
Making Tough Decisions
Gettleman’s decision to let Norman walk reportedly led to his dismissal. But in hindsight, one could argue it was the right move. The Panthers are still competing for an NFC South division title just one season after Norman’s departure, and Carolina’s secondary currently ranks seventh in the NFL in terms of yards allowed.
Gettleman has no problem making tough decisions when it comes to veteran players. From Steve Smith to Thomas Davis to Norman, Gettleman has shown that he is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win.
He inherited a salary cap mess when taking the job in Carolina in 2013. And he would have some significant decisions to make with Big Blue’s current roster, especially given some of New York’s veterans’ contracts.
So Is Gettleman The Right Fit?
There are plenty of selling points for Gettleman to return to the Big Apple. He has a longstanding relationship with the organization and would bring some much-needed consistency to the franchise.
The Giants have made the playoffs just once since winning the Super Bowl in 2011. If the objective is to compete for a Lombardi Trophy every year, then Gettleman might be the right fit for Big Blue.
The question is whether the Giants wants a new voice in the front office?
Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, Vikings assistant general manager George Paton, and Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer are all worthy candidates for the position.
In the end, the Giants would be smart to weigh all of their options for the next general manager position. But that doesn’t mean Gettleman isn’t the right fit for the G-Men.