When the New York Giants hired former Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman to fill the same role near the end of the 2017 season, fans did not take it well. In three years as general manager, Gettleman’s Giants are 14-32, the worst in the NFL over that span. From failed draft classes to head-scratching free agent signings and trades, the Dave Gettleman experiment is coming to an end as New York prepares to finish their fourth-straight losing season.
The Dave Gettleman Experiment Has Failed
2018: Gettleman’s First Full Year
Coming off of the worst season in their franchise’s history, owner John Mara and Steve Tisch entrusted Gettleman to start building their team from the ground up.
His first free agent signing? Running back Jonathan Stewart, who had just one 1,000 yard rushing season in his entire career at that point, was brought in on a two year, $6.2 million contract. Stewart would go on to total six carries for 17 yards for the Giants before landing on injured reserve. Stewart’s option was declined for the next season. This was just one of many puzzling moves that Gettleman made in his first year at the helm.
Another overlooked part of Gettleman’s tenure has been letting talent walk out the door and replacing them with subpar players. This can be said for players such as Devon Kennard, Andrew Adams and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (who was going to be brought back, but they disagreed on money). These three players were replaced with Kareem Martin (three years/$21M), Curtis Riley and B.W. Webb. Giants fans know all too well how bad those players have been in their Giants tenures, and that directly reflects Dave Gettleman’s “vision” for the team.
The 2018 Draft
When your team wins only three games with an aging quarterback and subpar offensive line, mixed in with a lackluster defense, chances are you try to fill one of those holes and begin a true rebuild. Dave Gettleman decided that this team could “win-now” and drafted running back Saquon Barkley with the 2nd overall pick. Granted, the Giants run game was horrendous as well. However, there was a bigger hole to be filled, and the Giants could be paying for Gettleman’s mistakes if Daniel Jones does not pan out.
Saquon Barkley is a fan favorite, and is an amazing talent. When healthy, Barkley is one of the best running backs in the game. Unfortunately, the Giants could have been better off finding a running back in the later rounds.
As for the rest of the draft, Will Hernandez has been a solid guard, but not the franchise-looking guard Gettleman had hoped for when he selected Hernandez with the 34th overall pick. Lorenzo Carter has a lot to prove, and has been out for most of this season after being put on injured reserve. B.J. Hill has unfortunately turned into a rotational defensive lineman, especially with the Leonard Williams trade last season. Kyle Lauletta is no longer with the team, and R.J. McIntosh is somehow still hanging on to a roster spot.
The Giants finished 5-11 in 2018, their defense being the main reason why they lost many contests. They did put points on the board however, scoring 30+ points in five of their games.
Gettleman’s first full year as general manager was rough, and not exactly what Giants fans were hoping for.
A 2019 Disappointment
Dave Gentleman made two key trades following the 2018 season. He traded pass rusher Olivier Vernon and a fourth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler and a fifth-round pick. While Zeitler has been the Giants most consistent lineman over the last two seasons, this team is clearly missing a pass rusher. Vernon’s contract was ridiculous, but one could make a case for keeping him. It also does not help that Gettleman traded fan-favorite Jason Pierre-Paul the offseason before.
The big trade that offseason was when Gettleman sent star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr to the Browns for Jabrill Peppers, and a 2019 first-round and third-round pick. Those two picks turned out to be Dexter Lawrence and Oshane Ximines. Ximines had 4.5 sacks in his rookie season, but has been injured for most of 2020. Lawrence on the other hand is already one of the league’s best young interior defensive lineman. He’s totaled 6.5 sacks, 28 pressures and 8 tackles for loss in two seasons.
The risk with trading Beckham Jr was leaving the wide receiver room scarce. After trading him, Gettleman decided to sign Golden Tate to a four year, $37.5 million contract. Tate played relatively well in his first year in blue, hauling in eight touchdowns. However, Tate simply did not replace the production of Beckham, and it is showing in the 2020 season.
In the 2019 draft, Dave Gettleman drafted quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth-overall pick. Jones had showed promise in his rookie year, throwing for 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The big knock on Jones was his ball security, totaling 18 fumbles in 2019.
With a rookie quarterback and lackluster defense, the Giants did not see much improvement team-wise. Big Blue finished with a 4-12 record and clinched the fourth-overall pick in next year’s draft.
The 2020 Rollercoaster Season
To give credit where credit is due, Gettleman did have three great signings and a decent draft class in 2020. James Bradberry, Logan Ryan and Blake Martinez are key contributors on the Giants defense. Andrew Thomas, despite his struggles early on, looks to be the left tackle of the future. Darnay Holmes, Carter Coughlin, Cam Brown, and Tae Crowder have all played on defense and played well considering their snap counts.
The 2020 season for the Giants has really been a rollercoaster. After starting 1-7, New York broke off four straight wins, including a win over the Seattle Seahawks. Unfortunately, the Giants have dropped three straight since and are looking to pick in the top 10 again in the upcoming draft.
While the four game winning streak was fun, the holes of this team are starting to show. The defense has played well all year, but has failed to consistently apply pressure, even when their young edge rushers were healthy. The lack of a true number one wide receiver has been evident this whole year. Dropped balls and below average separation show that the Giants need to bring in a game-changing wide receiver in the offseason, along with an edge rusher.
Gettleman has failed to address the EDGE position, trying to patch up the gaping whole with late round selections and praying that they would suffice to anything. His signing of Golden Tate and failure to draft a wide receiver in 2020, in one of the deepest wide receiver drafts, is showing on the field today.
Where Do The Giants Go From Here?
In Dave Gettleman’s three seasons at the helm, the Giants are 14-33 in that span. With one game to go in the 2020 season, it could very well be Gettleman’s last. Usually in a general manager’s third year, the team is starting to become a contender, with solid pieces and a good core of young players. The Giants have some solid pieces, a decent core of young players. Where does the problem lie? It is with Dave Gettleman, who has consistently failed time and time again to build even a respectable team that fans could be proud of. The product Gettleman has put on the field the last three years have been abysmal. Heading towards another lost year, he needs to be gone immediately.
While fans may joke on Jerry Reese’s name, Reese had three 10-game losing seasons in 11 years as the Giants general manager. Dave Gettleman has three 10-losing seasons… IN THREE YEARS. The Giants have a general manager that still thinks the year is 1967.
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