There is no question that NY Giants GM Dave Gettleman is on the hot-set, but head coach Joe Judge likely carries significant influence over his future
The NY Giants might sneak into the NFL Playoffs as the NFC East champion, with a win over the Dallas Cowboys combined with a Philadelphia Eagles win over the Washington Football Team Sunday, but that can’t mask the fact that this is a team that has lost 10 or more games six of the past seven seasons.
With his team entering Week 17 at 5-10 and a puncher’s chance at a division title in his first season, NY Giants head coach Joe Judge endorsed embattled general manager Dave Gettleman and their shared philosophies on team-building.
“I’d say the entire building since I’ve been here has had one vision going forward,” Judge said prior to Thursday’s practice.
The architect of that vision, at least until Judge’s arrival and the new head coach imported from the New England Patriots stamping his fingertips across all aspects of both the team and the organization, had been Gettleman.
"“I’ve enjoyed working with Dave the entire year,” Judge explained. “We’ve done a lot of good things together. I really enjoyed the process of free agency and the draft. Obviously, we went through training camp, and there was a lot of logistical work we had to do in this particular spring and summer in terms of getting the setups ready for when the team came back.“I think everyone is doing a good job right now in terms of understanding where we want to go and pushing in the right direction. There’s been some great coordination and communication with Dave [Gettleman] and everyone in personnel in terms of the kinds of players that fit into our systems.”"
This has unquestionably been Gettleman’s most successful offseason since becoming the Giants’ general manager prior to the 2018 season.
The NY Giants struck gold in free agency by signing cornerback James Bradberry and inside linebacker Blake Martinez, who have emerged both as two of the roster’s most dynamic talents and most respected locker room voices.
Logan Ryan’s addition in the days leading up to the regular season added another strong and experienced leadership voice to a young locker room and provided stability in the secondary. It will remain to be seen if Ryan’s three-year contract will wind up being an albatross around the organization’s neck in three years, but in the interim, keeping that stability in place was prudent.
However, this offseason might be the outlier.
Gettleman’s gaffes in free agency; signing Nate Solder as the highest-paid offensive tackle in league history — at the time — offensive lineman Patrick Omameh and running back Jonathan Stewart were largely unmitigated disasters.
It is becoming more apparent by the week that signing Golden Tate, especially to a four-year deal worth $37.5 million was a mistake.
Forfeiting a third-round pick to choose cornerback Sam Beal in the supplemental draft was a colossal waste of resources.
While Leonard Williams has emerged as the Giants’ most dominant and disruptive defensive lineman, trading the Jets a third-round pick to acquire him when the NY Giants were 2-6 and Williams was eight weeks from becoming a free agent underscored how out of touch Gettleman is in terms of just how valuable draft picks can be in the modern NFL.
And, perhaps most troubling of all, is the fact that quarterback Daniel Jones has regressed dramatically in his second NFL season after being chosen No. 6 overall in the NFL Draft.
Gettleman’s additions via the draft, 2019 first-round pick Dexter Lawrence, that year’s fifth-round pick Darius Slayton have been standouts. There’s no telling how different this offense would be with Saquon Barkley as the focal point.
But are those contributors enough to make up for the DeAndre Bakers, Kyle Laulettas, and Ryan Connellys? The jury remains out on rookie tackles Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart as rookie guard Shane Lemieux is swimming.
Can a flimsy division championship in a year where the NFC East combined for a 21-38-1 record mask Gettleman’s failures? Would hanging a division championship banner be enough of an endorsement for a GM with a 14-33 record?
Ultimately, Judge’s voice will likely curry significant influence over owner John Mara’s decision whether to move forward with Gettleman or move on.
"“I’m very pleased how we came out of last spring in free agency and the draft,” Judge added. “I think all of those guys we’ve brought in have contributed to this team, have developed in time, and helped lay a foundation for this team.“We have to keep drafting well, we have to keep signing free agents that will build within our not only our culture but our scheme and versatility. But, I’d say the cooperation in both aspects, the building has been working together as one and that’s a very positive thing.”"