2. Dave Gettleman
While Dave Gettleman clearly inherited a giant mess when he took over as the new general manager of the NY Giants, he has further exasperated many of the issues already facing the organization.
Gettleman receives credit for putting together two consecutive drafts that seem to have been extremely fruitful for Big Blue. Having drafted a young core that includes Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, Darius Slayton, Will Hernandez, and Julian Love to name a few, Gettleman has his fair share of supporters. Some of this is due to the utter lack of success that his predecessor had with drafts.
However, despite the apparent success that Gettleman has had so far in the NFL draft, his numerous blunders cannot be ignored. Gettleman’s questionable free-agent signings, contract extensions, and trades leave him wide open to criticism.
It should be noted that many question whether Gettleman should have traded back to accumulate additional draft capital, rather than using the second overall pick in 2018 to select a running back in Barkley when the team had so many other glaring holes. In addition, it has been questioned whether Gettleman reached to draft Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 draft (something that’s been proven untrue so far).
Gettleman is also the general manager responsible for the free-agent signings of Nate Solder, Patrick Omameh, Jonathan Stewart and Kareem Martin. These four players account for almost $100 million in contracts with the Giants. Omameh and Stewart are no longer with the team after spending just one season on the roster. Kareem Martin has accounted for 53 tackles (two this year) and one and a half sacks for the $15 million he is being paid. Nate Solder has been arguably the worst tackle in the NFL, having given up 11 sacks on the season, despite being the third-highest paid tackle in football, with a $62 million contract.
Gettleman also has a history of trading useful players that had high dead cap numbers as he did with both Odell Beckham Jr. (even though he had signed him himself less than a year prior) and Jason Pierre-Paul.
Gettleman would sign Beckham Jr. to a five-year $95 million contract before the 2018 season, only to trade him to the Cleveland Browns before the 2019 season, for a first-round pick, a third-round pick and for former first-round pick Jabrill Peppers. This came after Gettleman famously stated in a press conference that the Giants “didn’t sign Odell to trade him”.
The Beckham Jr. trade would draw further criticism, when reports surfaced that Gettleman failed to shop the star wideout, despite the fact that the San Francisco 49ers may have been willing to offer more than the Browns did.
In addition to getting called out for these two trades, Gettleman has had other head-scratching trades including the Alec Ogletree trade, in which Gettleman gave up a fourth and six round pick to the Los Angeles Rams, while eating almost $38 million of Ogletree’s contract that he had signed the previous season with the Rams.
In addition, he traded a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick to the New York Jets, for soon-to-be free agent defensive tackle Leonard Williams, when the Giants had a 2-6 record. To make matters worse, the 2021 fifth-round pick becomes a fourth-round pick if the Giants sign Williams to an extension.
Giving up valuable draft capital for someone who could have been pursued in the offseason, for a team in the midst of a rebuild is unforgivable. This is even more inexplicable, given that it was not a position of need for the Giants, who have three younger, less expensive options at defensive tackle in Dexter Lawrence, B.J. Hill, and Dalvin Tomlinson.
Gettleman also inexplicably decided to let Landon Collins walk in free agency. While it can be argued that his trade for Jabrill Peppers was a better move for the long-term success of the Giants given Peppers is younger, cheaper and fits the defensive scheme better, it cannot be ignored that Gettleman received nothing more than a potential compensatory pick for the former Pro Bowler Collins (a pick that wasn’t guaranteed at the time he decided to not trade him, and a year later than an actual draft pick acquired would have been).
Had Gettleman opted to shop Collins at the trade deadline in 2018, when he traded Eli Apple and Damon Harrison, he would have likely received a third round pick at a minimum. Instead, Gettleman determined that safety isn’t a position major money should be spent on an he allowed Collins to walk without even shopping him. Collins would sign for six-years and $84 million, further solidifying the notion that his trade return could have been significant.
While many of his personnel moves have been atrocious, Gettleman’s worst move may have been hiring Pat Shurmur. Under Shurmur, the team has gone 9-21 and has looked awful for the two years with him as the Giants head coach. The team has lacked the improvement that is typically seen from a young team like the Giants currently have.
Gettleman, who continues to hide from the media, despite the failings of the team under his watch, has certainly made massive blunders as the general manager.
Those egregious mistakes, when combined with the errors of Jerry Reese, have left the Giants in a dire situation, which makes Gettleman responsible for a great deal of the Giants failings.