Dave Gettleman is in his third season as Giants general manager and (despite a current four-game win streak) speculation still exists about his future with the organization. A mixed bag may be a decent description of his tenure so far in his current role.
I’m not here to tell you if he should or should not continue as Giants GM in 2021, but instead will break down his key moves and let you decide if he should continue putting together this roster, or if John Mara and Steve Tisch should go in a different direction. Some opinion will be thrown in, but I largely will be sticking straight to the facts.
Major Decisions2018 Pre-Draft:
Gettleman trades DE Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 2018 3rd and 4th-round picks. At this point, we can say this trade was a failure. Yes, Gettleman moved a massive contract off the books in dealing JPP to Tampa, but JPP has been a consistent force with the Buccaneers while the draft picks acquired from this trade have been underwhelming. Gettleman drafted DT BJ Hill with the 3rd-round pick from this trade and QB Kyle Lauletta with the 4th. While Hill showed promise as a rookie with 5.5 sacks, his role has significantly diminished. Hill hasn’t played more than 44% of the defensive snaps in any game this season and only has 1 sack and 1 tackle for loss to show for his efforts in 2020. Lauletta was cut after just one season on the Giants roster.
Meanwhile, JPP has 8.5 sacks and 6 tackles for loss in 2020. It would’ve been very intriguing to see what Patrick Graham could’ve done with JPP in his defense.
2018 NFL Draft:
Gettleman takes RB Saquon Barkley with the #2 overall pick Obviously no one can deny the incredible talent that Barkley is, but through two and a half seasons it’s hard to argue this was the right pick. Taking a running back in the first-round, especially that high, is more of a luxury pick for a team ready to win right away. The Giants instead were coming off a 3-13 record, had a 37 year-old quarterback, a suspect offensive line, and had missed the playoffs four of the past five seasons. While Sam Darnold (who the Giants were reportedly interested in if they were to take a QB) hasn’t exactly panned out as.a franchise QB, Gettleman still could have traded down to acquire more assets in the draft.
Odell Beckham Jr. is traded to the Browns for first and third-round picks in the 2019 draft and Safety Jabrill Peppers Gettleman ended up drafting DT Dexter Lawrence with the extra first-round pick and LB Oshane Ximenes in the third. Peppers and Lawrence are key pieces to this improving defense, and Ximenes showed plenty of potential in his rookie year. Ximenes has battled injuries this year, similar to how 19 Beckham’s tenure has gone in Cleveland. Beckham had hernia surgery following the 2019 season and tore his ACL this year. We know about Beckham’s talent, but if he’s not on the field it does no good for Cleveland. The case absolutely can be made that Gettleman and the Giants won this trade, not because Odell suddenly is a bad player, but more so byou ecause of his health issues.
Gettleman drafts Duke QB Daniel Jones with the #6 overall pick. Let’s be honest; Gettleman’s future with the Giants is largely tied to Jones. He chose Jones even when it was not the popular choice, and essentially his reputation and possibly career could be on the line with this pick. If Jones continues to play well down the stretch and shows that he is making legitimate progress with limiting turnovers, that could be a catalyst for bringing Gettleman back. If Jones reverts to his early-season ways and hands the ball over to the opponent too much, the decision to move on from Gettleman may be easier.
2019 Trade Deadline:
Gettleman trades a 2020 third-round pick and 2021 fifth-round pick to the Jets for DL Leonard Williams At the time, this seemed like a very questionable trade. Williams was an impending free-agent, so why trade assets away when you could sign him without having to give up anything? This season, however, Williams has made this trade look better and better. His 8.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss so far in 2020 clearly show he’s one of the foundational pieces of this defense. Now, if Williams finds another team in free agency (since he’s currently playing on the one-year franchise tag) this is essentially a failure. The Giants are in no position to give away multiple draft picks for a year and a half rental. Maybe the Chiefs or Saints can do things like this, but the Giants don’t have that luxury.
2020 Free Agency:
Gettleman signs CB James Bradberry and LB Blake Martinez. Two of the best moves Gettleman has made as Giants GM came this past off-season with the signings of Bradberry and Martinez. Both guys have been integral reasons why this defense has taken such strides in 2020. Bradberry has played at a Pro Bowl level and has consistently shut down the opposing team’s top receiver.
You can’t help but notice Blake Martinez jump off your television screen every single game. He’s a tackling machine and the core of the defense. Also, applaud Gettleman for signing each player to relatively short contracts (3 years each), which would’ve allowed the Giants to get out of these deals without significant consequence if they didn’t work out. Of course, Dave Gettleman has made hundreds and hundreds of other moves as the General Manager. These decisions alone should not determine the future of Gettleman’s job, but these are clearly some of the most impactful choices he has made. As of December 10, Gettleman’s job security looks better and better, but just a month ago he was all but out of New York.
Tweet me @adamnardelli or @NYGiantsRush and let us know where you think Gettleman stands.
–by Adam Nardelli @adamnardelli