Dave Gettleman: Good, bad and ugly of disappointing NY Giants tenure

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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With the NY Giants having clinched their fourth double-digit loss season in as many years with Dave Gettleman at the helm, it’s safe to say his time as general manager is coming to an end.

It seems as though Dave Gettleman’s tenure as NY Giants general manager is mercifully coming to an end, even if two years too late.

Before Gettleman was hired as the Giants general manager, Jerry Reese held the position from 2007-2017. Those 11 seasons consisted of two Super Bowl wins, but only two other playoff appearances in the other nine seasons, including four losing seasons in the final five years of his tenure.

Despite the two Super Bowl wins coming while Reese was GM, it was his predecessor Ernie Accorsi who built the foundation of those teams while Reese was the director of player personnel.

As GM, Reese did no favors for his successor, drafting Evan Engram, Eli Apple and Ereck Flowers in the 1st round in his final three drafts with the NY Giants.

However, Gettleman did very little to clean up Reese’s mistakes, and instead put the organization in an unideal salary cap predicament with very little to show for it.

To Gettleman’s credit, he definitely added some talent to a team that was bereft of it before he got there, but he made a few too many mistakes when building the team’s foundation to maximize the club’s potential.

Here’s a look at the good, bad, and very ugly of Dave Gettleman’s time as NY Giants GM:

The Good

You’d be hard-pressed to find any general manager of four years that didn’t do at least one good thing for a franchise.

For Gettleman, there are certainly some moves he can hang his hat on, despite a myriad of decisions that overshadow his tenure, and rightfully so.

For starters, the Odell Beckham Jr. trade was a net positive for Gettleman and company.

Beckham’s relationship with the organization was fractured prior to Gettleman’s arrival and at that point it seemed impossible to mend, even after he was signed to the lucrative extension he wanted.

Landing a 1st round pick, a third-round pick and a quality safety in Jabrill Peppers for an unhappy, injury-prone wide receiver on a massive deal is a good job by Gettleman. Although Peppers’ time as a Giant has likely come to an end after having suffered a season-ending injury earlier this year as a pending free agent, his career with the Giants will still end up more favorable than Beckham’s with the Cleveland Browns.

With that 2019 1st round pick from Cleveland, Gettleman selected defensive tackle Dexter Lawerence, who has had a promising start to his career anchoring the interior for the Giants. Alongside him is Leonard Williams, who was acquired in a trade with the Jets, a move that was criticized initially.

Despite Williams not living up to the hype with the Jets, Gettleman shipped off a conditional 4th round pick and a 5th round pick to acquire the former USC product in a mid-season trade. Over the final eight games of the year, Williams had just ½ of a sack and two tackles for loss. For Gettleman, that was enough to sign him to the franchise tag, turning that conditional 4th round pick into a 3rd round pick.

Needless to say, Williams balled out in 2020 to the tune of 11.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss, leading the Giants to a top 10 defensive finish.

Whether Gettleman’s decision to extend Williams to a lucrative 3-year, $63 million deal was the right decision or not is a discussion for a different day.

Gettleman has found a little more success in the draft, particularly in his last two classes. For starters, he seemed to find his franchise left tackle in Andrew Thomas, a playmaking safety in Xavier McKinney, an electric weapon in Kadarius Toney and a productive edge rusher in Azeez Ojulari.