New York Giants May Pay For Half Measures In Rebuilding

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman
Dec 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; (Editors note: Caption correction) New York Giants new general manager Dave Gettleman during warm up before game against the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants aren’t going to go all the way with their rebuild process.

Head coach Pat Shurmur was fired on Monday, of course – to the relief of many fans. It’s not that Shurmur was a bad person or a coach that players didn’t like playing for, but as far as on the field results, Shurmur also failed to deliver in two years and didn’t look better at most points than the much maligned previous coach he’d been brought in to replace.

The Giants weren’t going to win with Shurmur. Making the move to replace him is one of the first steps in getting back to a winning record and eventually the playoffs. But while Shurmur was replaced, General Manager Dave Gettleman escaped with his job despite being the one behind constructing the roster that Shurmur coached this year.

For whatever reason, the one that led the team was fired but not the one that constructed it.

Sure, there have been some good things that have come out of Gettleman being the General Manager. The most notable would be the selection of Saquon Barkley. But there’s also been a lot of bad. The secondary isn’t better than it was when Gettleman took over, perhaps even taking a step back, trading up for DeAndre Baker and having a general trend of acquiring too many defensive line players look like bad moves, giving Nate Solder a large contract has turned out to be a mistake, and Gettleman’s veteran signings have been panned by fans.

And as for the biggest moves Gettleman has made, drafting Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones, it’s hard to give all of the credit to the General Manager for them. Sure, Gettleman selected Barkley. But that was the expected move for a team that had a chance to take the best player in the draft. It wasn’t a case of a General Manager making a tough call and taking a risk on a dark horse player who turns out to be as good as Barkley.

It was a good selection… But does it really say that much about the skill of the executive who made it, when compared to other executives? Most other General Managers in the same position would have done the same thing.

As for Jones, it can’t be said one way or another if he’ll turn into a franchise quarterback that looks good on Gettleman’s resume. Despite the early hype, his fumbles and interceptions do mean it will take some more time before truly giving him that title.

What’s already set in stone, though, are the numbers 5-11 and 4-12: the records of the New York Giants over the past couple of years. While it’s usually impossible to have a near immediate turnaround, the little improvement through Gettleman’s first two offseasons should concern the organization more than it has. As it stands now, it doesn’t look like the Giants are set to become the winning team in the third year of a rebuild.

Rather, based on Gettleman’s record so far with free agents, they look on pace to use their increased cap space to bring in a number of players who will likely attract some attention during the offseason but when things are said and done, will end up on their way out of the team in a couple of years after not making nearly enough actual impact on results.

You might not see things change too much for the Giants in 2020. Why? Because they’re taking half measures in a rebuild once again, just like firing Coughlin and keeping Reese in the past – something that in hindsight, a lot of fans would probably have liked the Giants to reverse.

The current leader of the team, the coach, is gone now and will be replaced this offseason. With the same architect at the top, though, can one really argue that change will happen?

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