Was it ever in question who the New York Giants would entrust their organization to? Someone they knew and trusted was going to be their next general manager, we could see that coming a mile away. The fix was in.
On Thursday, the Giants made Dave Gettleman, the former personnel guru who made East Rutherford his home for 15 years before leaving in 2013 to become the GM of the Carolina Panthers, was named the team’s fourth GM since 1979 from a short list of candidates who were mainly internal. The decision was made after former GM Ernie Accorsi brought in to lead an exploratory search for new GM two weeks ago.
Gettleman, 66, beat out interim GM Kevin Abrams, VP of player evaluation Marc Ross and former NFL personnel executive and ESPN analyst Louis Riddick. Gettlemen will be introduced at a press conference on Friday.
“Given where we are as a team, we thought it was important to bring in someone with experience as a general manager and a proven track record,” CEO John Mara and Chairman Steve Tisch said in a statement. “Dave’s experience is unparalleled. He did an outstanding job as general manager in Carolina, and he was vital to our success during his tenure here. Dave is going to bring his own approach to our organization in how we draft and acquire players through free agency.”
That approach will be very similar to that of his predecessor and former bosses George Young, Accorsi and Jerry Reese, who built teams through the draft by taking the best player available when their pick came around. Only in a few cases did they roll the dice in the draft. Those two instances led to the acquisition of QB Eli Manning and the poaching of All-Pro safety Landon Collins.
Gettleman is an optimum choice for the job because of his philosophy of building teams that play physically with big bodies. The Giants have been painfully weak in the trenches the past few years and are undersized on offense at positions such as running back, wide receiver and on defense at linebacker.
The new GM will be given the autonomy to choose his own head coach but that choice will have to be blessed by ownership, as it always is. He usually leans towards a conservative approach, coming from the Giants. In Carolina, he stuck with Ron Rivera through thick and thin and it paid off.
Gettleman will have a lot of decisions to make and soon. He will have not decide what he wants to do at quarterback since the Giants will have the second overall selection in the upcoming NFL Draft. He could easily stick with Eli Manning, who has two years remaining on his contract and groom third-round pick Davis Webb to succeed him.
The feeling here is that Gettleman may look to trade that second pick for a package of picks, draft some of those big bodies he covets and begin to turn this mess he’s inheriting back into a recognizable football team again.
Gettleman will also have to make calls on several of Reese’s draft picks that have gone sideways such as CB Eli Apple and OT Ereck Flowers. Decisions will also have to be made on OL Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg as well as some others. There is also the business of giving wild card WR Odell Beckham, Jr. a long term, lucrative contract.
Keep in mind, Gettleman was allegedly fired by Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson for not extending the contracts of several popular veterans who were either underperforming or past their prime. He may look to do the same here.