New York Giants: GM Dave Gettleman “In Danger” Of Losing His Job

Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants suffered another crushing defeat on Monday night. Their overtime loss to the Eagles dropped New York’s record to an atrocious 2-11. The Giants are now 7-22 in their last 29 games.

The Giants are on the verge of making some serious changes. Almost unanimously, the fanbase has been calling out for the firing of head coach Pat Shurmur, and it seems like Giants fans are going to get their wish. However, fans are a bit divided on the topic of what the Giants should do with their general manager.

Recent reports suggest that New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman is also “in danger” of losing his job (According to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe and Jordan Raanan of ESPN).

Gettleman has made a multitude of controversial decisions during his time as the Giants’ general manager. Since getting the job in 2018, there have been some hits, but there have been several misses, too.

Reasons Why The Giants Might Fire Dave Gettleman:

Questionable Trades and Free Agency Decisions:

The Giants have been involved in several trades under Dave Gettleman’s reign as general manager. His best trade so far his been acquiring punter Riley Dixon from the Broncos for a conditional 7th round pick in 2019. Dixon has been one of the most consistent and reliable players on the Giants this season, and New York acquired him for a low price.

Of course, you cannot discuss Dave Gettleman’s tenure with the Giants without mentioning the infamous Odell Beckham Jr. trade. You could argue that the Giants got the better end of the deal. They got two starters and a solid rotational pass-rusher while the Browns got a star receiver that already wants to be traded again. However, Gettleman still traded away a generational talent after signing him to a record-breaking contract. If he wanted to part ways with Beckham, he should have done it before giving him an extension.

Then there is 2019’s second head-scratching trade. The Giants gave up a top 70 pick (3rd round) in the 2020 draft for Leonard Williams, an interior defensive lineman from the Jets. Williams did not fill a position of need as the Giants were already pretty strong in that spot. Additionally, Williams will be a free agent this offseason and is going to command a massive contract extension that the Giants might not even give him. Gettleman might have given up that coveted draft pick for half of a season of Leonard Williams’s career.

That being said, Dave Gettleman has not made a lot of great decisions in free agency either. He signed Nate Solder to a huge contract in 2018, and Solder has not lived up to his cap hit at all. Gettleman also signed Patrick Omameh that offseason, and he did not even last a season on New York’s roster.

The Giants are set to have a large amount of cap space in the 2020 offseason. Dave Gettleman has proven that he is not good at finding talented players for a reasonable price in free agency. He often overpays for mediocre to below-average players. In 2020, the Giants would be wise to pay someone else to spend their money.

Confusing Roster Construction:

This next reason was a problem for Gettleman in his time as the general manager of the Carolina Panthers, too. Dave Gettleman does not seem to understand the modern-day strategy of building a successful NFL team. It is no longer the 1970’s where offenses run the ball more often than they pass.

In 2019, the NFL is a passing league. The teams that win championships do so behind a talented quarterback. The running back is usually a complementary piece.

Now, I could get into the whole debate about drafting Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick in 2018, but I won’t. That debate is highly controversial, and nothing is going to change the fact that it happened. Saquon Barkley was the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018 and is ultra-talented. He should be a special player for a long time, even though the production and value of a running back do not match a top-three overall draft selection.

Regardless of where you stand in the Saquon Barkley debate, you have to recognize that Dave Gettleman is building a team that cares too much about stopping the run and not enough about diminishing the efficiency with which opposing teams throw the football.

In his two years as the Giants’ general manager, Gettleman has 4 interior defensive linemen. In the first half of the 2019 season, this was the Giants’ most robust defensive positional unit. But that was not enough for Dave Gettleman. Before the 2019 trade deadline, Dave Gettleman traded away the Giants’ third-round pick (top 70) and a 2021 conditional pick to the Jets in exchange for interior defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

Between 2013 and 2017, as GM of the Panthers, Gettleman used 4 of his 8 1st, and 2nd round draft picks on interior defensive linemen. The man is determined to have the best interior defenders in the league, no matter what team he is on. Unfortunately, these are players that play two downs and have minimal impact on the passing game in comparison to a shutdown cornerback or stud pass-rusher. If the Giants do fire Dave Gettleman, you should expect that the guy they hire in his place will emphasize rushing the passer, not stuffing the runner. This is the way the best defenses in the NFL are winning: by slowing down opposing quarterbacks, not opposing running backs.

Hiring A Bad Coaching Staff:

The Giants’ coaching staff is by far the worst part of this team. Week after week, Pat Shurmur makes mistake after mistake and does not put the Giants in position to win games. He knows how to lose, but he has yet to figure out how to win.

Shurmur has now led New York to an abysmal 7-22 record in his two seasons as head coach. This week he tied the Giants’ franchise record for the longest losing streak, which is now at 9 games.

It looks like Pat Shurmur is on his way out of here, and maybe the man who led ownership to hire Shurmur should be too. Dave Gettleman has not constructed a roster even close to being competitive in two seasons. He has had some excellent draft picks; Daniel Jones looks like a home run. But overall, the misses seem to outweigh the hits. If Ben Volin’s report is accurate, Dave Gettleman could be on his way out, and maybe he should be.