After four disappointing seasons, New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman is expected to depart after the 2021 season concludes. In a strange set of circumstances, the Giants are keeping Joe Judge, while attempting to pick a new general manager.
There are many negatives and positives when picking a strategy to choose a general manager. Promoting from the inside does not sound like an intelligent idea. Whoever could be picked from inside has been a part of the mess for the past ten-plus seasons. Top general manager candidates from the outside may be interested in the Giants job, however, there are reports circling on their lack of interest in working with Joe Judge. Overall, John Mara and Steve Tisch need to pick a proper talent evaluator to push this team to the next level. Proper drafting, scouting, trades, and free-agent acquisitions have been missing for years.
New York Giants General Manager Search: What Approach to Take
Outside The Organization
Many want to see an outside candidate come into the current situation and turn the ship around as the new Giants general manager. Top candidates for the job right now look to be Louis Riddick, John Dorsey, Alonzo Highsmith and others. Ed Dodds is at the top of the list for many, since his contributions to team building have led to success for the Indianapolis Colts.
Unfortunately, some of the attractive names may be limited due to the fact Joe Judge is coming back as the head coach next season and Daniel Jones will return as the starting quarterback. If John Mara is imperative on Judge and Jones returning in the interviews, top candidates will likely walk away.
Another con to hiring an outside general manager is the timeline disarray. In 2019, the New York Jets kept general manager Mike Maccagnan after the team fired Todd Bowles. Maccagnan hired Adam Gase as Bowles’ successor. After some feud, the Jets fired Maccagnan. Then Gase helped pick the new general manager, Joe Douglas. After the 2020 season, Joe Douglas fired Adam Gase and hired his own coach in Robert Saleh.
If the Giants hire a top talent evaluator from the outside and Judge is fired after 2022, the general manager then will work on hiring his own coach and ditching any of the past players from prior schemes.
Inside The Family
The New York Giants are a nepotistic organization. With John Mara and Steve Tisch as owners, Charles Tisch, Chris Mara, Tim Mara amongst others play valuable roles in the organization. An article by Tyler Dunne referenced that the Giants turned away free-agent tackle Russell Okung due to the fact his agent called Chris Mara a curse word.
The most likely contender to be Dave Gettleman’s successor from the inside is Kevin Abrahms. Abrahms has been a part of the organization since 1999, taking on numerous roles. He took over as Jerry Reese’s temporary successor when the Giants fired Reese and then-head coach Ben McAdoo in December of 2017.
According to many, Abrahms has negotiated many contracts that have put the Giants in cap misery. Situations include making Nate Solder the highest-paid offensive tackle in 2019 and extending Logan Ryan in December of 2020.
Despite numerous negatives, there are positives to hiring an inside guy. Abrahms knows Judge’s philosophy and how he works. Giving both a one-off season to collaborate keeps the general manager-head coach timeline intact. If the team improves in 2022, both deserve to stay for another year. If the team plunges worse than in 2021, both deserve to go. That way, Mara and Tisch can pick a general manager that picks their own head coach on an even timeline.
The Final Verdict
Picking a general manager from the outside would be an intelligent idea if Joe Judge was not staying around. Since he is, the list will likely be limited to inside candidates for the Giants general manager. If ownership hires one from the outside, they’ll tolerate at least one year of Joe Judge. If Judge fails, start over and pick their new guy two years into his or her tenure.
As bad of an idea as it may seem, staying with an inside candidate like Kevin Abrahms for the general manager is the safest option. Giving Abrahms and Joe Judge a one-off season to prove their competence would keep the timeline afloat. If the duo show progress in moving the ship forward, they’ll stay. However, if the two team together to make this team worse than it is, ownership will fire them. In that scenario, both owners can pick an outside general manager properly and then pick their own head coach.
Since the Giants are bringing back Joe Judge, staying with Kevin Abrahms or someone from the inside for one season is the safest option. That is knowing the search will be limited if ownership started their search outside of the organization.
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