Are the New York Giants stuck in rebuilding Stockholm Syndrome?

Cay North
New York Giants
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – APRIL 25: A general view of a video board as the New York Giants pick is announced during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The New York Giants haven’t been a very good team this season, and they may end up taking another big loss as they near their Monday Night Football game with Tampa Bay. But if that big loss does happen, it will surprise few. The Giants only have one win, after all, even when having chances to defeat other bad teams earlier in the year.

As the season heads towards the halfway point and the trade deadline, there will definitely be a lot of talk about what the team’s rebuilding plans are. This trade deadline may reveal whether they intend to keep going with their current path or blow everything up and start over. But based on the lack of moves so far, it seems that the former path is the more likely one.

However, there’s a question that has to be asked. Are Giants fans experiencing Stockholm Syndrome? Examples from other teams around the league show that a rebuild isn’t meant to happen like this. And that the process isn’t supposed to be indefinite. Based on reports, it looks like the organization intends to give Dave Gettleman more time after a number of poor moves already. And some fans agree with the sentiment.

But is everyone being duped into thinking that the Giants losing for the foreseeable future is a necessary path to getting good?

The Arizona Cardinals did it faster

The Arizona Cardinals provide an example of a team that made the wrong decisions, similarly to the Giants and their hires of Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur. However, they quickly moved on, as well as moving on from their underperforming quarterback to take higher rated prospect Kyler Murray. The team has largely turned it around in a tough division and is playing far more competitively than the Giants.

In the case of the Giants, there’s no need to fire the coach – they already have a very promising coach in Joe Judge. However, the team’s continued patience with Dave Gettleman largely hasn’t worked out. The speculation was that Gettleman would be fired after last season. That ended up being wrong. But given how little progress the Giants have made this season, it’s hard to say giving him a last chance has worked out well.

The Giants may have a chance to take top prospect Trevor Lawrence if they finish with the worst record in the league. And Lawrence likely has the best chance of panning out into a franchise quarterback. Should they make the move?

Looking to the future

They may have two paths in front of them. Blow things up and try to get back to the top quicker this time, or keep going with the current rebuild. That’s not to say that Daniel Jones is a bad quarterback. But it’s not usually enough to just have a starting caliber quarterback to win.

If the Giants do finish with one of the worst records in the league and keep going with the same things after it, there’s a case to be made that the team has Stockholm Syndrome. Because a rebuild doesn’t need to take this long and last the better part of a decade.

The 2020s are a chance to put mistakes from the 2010s in the past. But that can only happen if the team moves forward rather than trying to follow a failing blueprint because rebuilds are supposed to take this long and involve this many losing seasons before success. They aren’t. But future records for the Giants may depend on whether or not the team ownership realizes that.