New York Giants: Dave Gettleman’s equivocation on bad signings

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

You can’t help but like New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman.

Whereas his predecessor, Jerry Reese, was often surly, Gettleman has become an affable representative for the New York Giants. That’s important because when your team continues to flounder in last place, it makes zero sense to be at war with the media.

That dynamic came into play on Wednesday, when Gettleman met with the assembled media for his end-of-season press conference.

Now the bigger problem for Gettleman, and by extension, the franchise, comes from the fact that the current message appears eerily similar to the previous message(s) under Reese. Mainly, that the New York Giants were victims of bad luck and unfortunate bounces in 2018.

According AZ Quotes, Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells once said:

"“You are what your record says you are.”"

Gettleman and company would be wise to adopt that philosophy moving forward. and despite the fact that we may like “Trader Dave” personally, there were many aspects of his end-of-season press conference that were concerning.

No one person is immune for making bad decisions, but Gettleman was in the driver’s seat in creating this roster. And Gettleman was really the one person who opined that the New York Giants could have their cake and eat it too in 2018.

In other words, no one expects perfection, so when you make a mistake, admit it, and everyone can move forward.

Two of the biggest mistakes that Gettleman made were signing veteran running back Jonathan Stewart and offensive guard Patrick Omameh. Neither player proved worth the money that the G-Men paid them.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

In Omameh’s case, he became an instant starter at right guard, and couldn’t cut it. Pro Football Focus gave him a 52.3 grade in 2018, good for 63rd in the NFL. Since there are 64 starting guards in the league, well, you do the math.

Stewart played so poorly in the preseason, that fans freaked out whenever he touched the ball. Despite a very player friendly contract ($3.95 million with $3.45 million guaranteed per Spotrac), there were calls to cut him.

Clearly neither player passed the eye test, and when pressed on those decisions, unfortunately Gettleman doubled-down on their signings in front of everyone.

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Per the team’s official website:

"“One of the biggest issues we had last year that we had to fix was what? The locker room. And both Jonathan Stewart and Patrick Omameh are true professionals, and they were brought here for a specific purpose, they were brought here for other reasons than their play. Just understand that.”"

This statement might be the most disappointing one of the day.

To bring in non-productive players to create a better locker room presence, borders on management malpractice. Add to it the fact that Gettleman kept guys like cornerback Janoris Jenkins, left tackle Ereck Flowers and cornerback Eli Apple around through the offseason and into the new campaign, and you can see a very clear disconnect.

And if Gettleman was just trying to be kind to the these players, or personally trying to save face, well then we’ll point to another Parcell quote.

The Hall of Fame coach also said:

"“The only players I hurt with my words are the ones who have an inflated opinion of their ability.”"

In a departure from previous seasons, several New York Giants beat writers jumped on Gettleman for his performance yesterday. Quite frankly, it wasn’t something that was seen frequently in the Reese years. Many of Reese’s statements were accepted at face value, until the next time he graced the media with his presence, which was not often.

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The error of Gettleman’s ways was trying to peddle that bringing in high-priced, ineffective talent somehow cures locker room ills. If that philosophy becomes one of the linchpins of the restructuring of the New York Giants, then the rebuild will last a very long time. Given the fact that Gettleman is far more accessible than Reese ever was, hopefully he learned his lesson.