New York Giants: Dave Gettleman not on the hot seat, says Mara

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

This season may not only be a make or break one for New York Giants QB Daniel Jones, but also Dave Gettleman. After all, Gettleman constructed this current team as the general manager and can no longer point to problems such as the previous GM’s players or a lack of cap space to make moves with. For better or worse, Gettleman will likely be judged based on how the Giants perform during these next couple of seasons.

That might lead some to believe that Gettleman is on the hot seat and that he’ll quickly be out the door if the Giants don’t make a significant jump in performance. Gettleman, after all, was seemingly close to getting fired along with Pat Shurmur when the previous coaching staff was removed. For some, it’s hard to imagine the Giants continuing to give Gettleman chances even after keeping him around following that.

But there’s a different tune from co-owner John Mara, who claims that Gettleman is far from being on the hot seat. In an interview with the New York Post, he defended Gettleman and denied the hot seat rumors very directly.

What John Mara had to say

“Listen, I was frustrated the first couple of years the way the [seasons] ended. But the combination of Dave and Joe has produced very good personnel decisions, be it in free agency and in the draft. It’s a very good combination. We’ve made a lot of changes to our football operations staff, added some talented new people. I just feel like we’re moving in the right direction,” Mara said.

If that’s not enough to convince you, the fact that Mara denied the rumors straight up should be.

“No, you’re on the hot seat if you write any more stupid comments like that,” Mara said after being asked directly. He’d repeat the denial again for added measure, too.

For better or worse, it seems like Giants fans are stuck with Dave Gettleman for the forseeable future. At least, unless things take a drastically bad turn this season. But with the roster improving and the Giants bringing back a more experienced coaching staff after Joe Judge’s first season, that looks unlikely.

Whether or not Mara’s stance is a good thing or bad thing is up for debate – but there’s no mystery about what that stance is.

New York Giants: Dave Gettleman succeeded, found his “touchdown-makers” this offseason

New York Giants, Kenny Golladay

Last month, New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman sat down in a press conference to recap the Giants’ offseason moves. During his discussion with the press, Gettleman mentioned that the Giants wanted to add “touchdown-makers” and feels that they had accomplished that goal.

“Touchdown-makers” is a term Dave Gettleman has used before. Upon drafting Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Gettleman described Barkley as a “touchdown-maker” and a “threat to take it to the house every time he gets his hands on the ball.”

Dave Gettleman claims to have found more “touchdown-makers” this offseason. And his claim is indeed accurate. The Giants had a successful offseason period that saw them acquire a plethora of talented playmakers on offense.

The New York Giants’ new “touchdown-makers”

The New York Giants’ offense was incompetent in 2020. The Giants’ offense was the 31st ranked unit in the NFL, averaging a putrid 17.5 points per game. Hence Dave Gettleman’s desire to add “touchdown-makers,” players that could put points on the board.

What better way to fix an incompetent offense than to sign the league leader in touchdown receptions from 2019? Kenny Golladay was that guy, hauling in an impressive 11 touchdown receptions in a breakout 2019 campaign. Golladay caught 65 passes that season for 1,190 receiving yards. He was still an alpha dog wide receiver in 2020, averaging 67.6 yards per game, prior to the season-ending injury that shut him down after just five games.

Similar to Saquon Barkley, 2021 first-round pick Kadarius Toney is a “threat to take it to the house every time he gets his hands on the ball.” Toney had the highest missed tackle rate (35%) among 2021 NFL Draft WRs (PFF). The dynamic UF playmaker racked up 10 touchdowns in his final collegiate season.

The Giants also added reliable tight end Kyle Rudolph to the lineup this offseason. Rudolph is on a shortlist of players with 15+ receiving touchdowns in the red zone since 2016. According to Paul Schwartz of the NY Post, of Kyle Rudolph’s 48 career touchdown receptions, 40 of them — 83.3 percent — have come in the red zone. The Giants added some big-play scorers with Toney and Golladay, but they were wise enough to add a short-range assassin in Rudolph as well.

And, of course, the Giants’ offense was without its original “touchdown-maker” for the majority of the 2020 season. Saquon Barkley tore his ACL in Week Two, spending the rest of the season on injured reserve. Now, fully healthy, Barkley will return to the lineup in 2021 and look to be that home-run threat the Giants’ offense grew accustomed to having. Saquon Barkley, Kadarius Toney, Kyle Rudolph, and Kenny Golladay will step into the Giants’ 2021 offense and make big plays.

New York Giants: No concern about Azeez Ojulari’s knee, says Gettleman

new york giants, azeez ojulari

It’s looking more and more like the New York Giants were able to get a steal in the second round of the NFL Draft. The team took Georgia pass rusher Azeez Ojulari, who was one of the top ranked prospects at his position and definitely a first round talent. One of the main reasons for his fall into the second round is a knee problem that was reported a week before the draft. However, that problem appears to be of little concern to Dave Gettleman and the Giants.

Gettleman came out on WFAN on Monday and said that he didn’t know where the knee rumors came from. He also pointed out that the Giants had no concerns about Ojulari’s knee.

This seems in line with Ojulari’s college career. He did suffer an ACL tear in high school, but was a healthy player throughout his college career and further examination by James Andrews reportedly didn’t turn up any problems. The rumors about a degenerative knee condition came up only a week before the draft, and the exact source of where these ideas came from hasn’t been revealed.

If it’s true that there’s no real knee problems with Ojulari, it looks like the Giants came away with a massive steal due to his highly rated status before the draft. After all, some had linked Ojulari to the Giants with their first round pick in the weeks before the event. But after his slide, the Giants were able to acquire him without even spending a first round pick.

Giants’ GM Dave Gettleman says ‘you explore everything’ in regards to Aaron Rodgers rumors

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

If you’ve been following along with the Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay saga, you know that it took an interesting twist on Monday afternoon. Reportedly, Rodgers curated a list of teams he’d be willing to play for, and the New York Giants were surprisingly on the supposed list. While Rodgers has yet to confirm this is even true, let’s roll with this ridiculous rumor for the sake of the off-season.

Does this make any sense for the Giants? Absolutely not. While adding Rodgers would give them the potential to be a top 10 defense immediately, he would count $22.85 million against the cap. The Giants simply don’t have that much money available, even if they parted ways with Daniel Jones, due to his guaranteed money on his rookie contract. They would have to cut a variety of players, giving up money during the 2021 season just to fit Rodgers under their salary cap.

Is there any way the New York Giants could figure out the money?

Alternatively, they could ask Rodgers to tear up his contract and offer him an entirely new deal that would backload the money a few seasons. That would be the only way they can operate strategically, but Rodgers is currently 37 years old and not getting any younger, so his quality of play eventually will begin to deteriorate.

Even if he takes a step backward in his production, he still managed 48 touchdowns last season, a career-high that landed him on the All-Pro First Team. There’s no question that whatever offense he is on is immediately a contender, and the Giants arguably have more weapons on their unit than the Green Bay Packers.

Having recently acquired in Kadarius Toney in the 2021 NFL draft, the Giants are also expecting Saquon Barkley to return to full health this upcoming season, with the addition of Kenny Golladay as their WR1.

Rodgers would have himself a field day with the weapons the Giants currently possess, but again, the contract numbers simply don’t match up. Nonetheless, general manager Dave Gettleman stated that the Rodgers debacle was none of his business but then followed up on WFAN on Monday afternoon, stating, “you explore everything.”

Whether Gettleman loves to mess with the media or the fan base, he certainly stirred a ruckus on social media. While expecting anything to come from this rumor is optimistic and maybe even foolish, the Giants are clearly dedicated to Daniel Jones and his development, as their off-season would attest.

They’re hoping for a Josh Allen-like developmental jump this upcoming year, and after spending $70 million on Golliday and a first-round pick on another playmaker, Jones will have plenty of talent to utilize on offense.

New York Giants: Dave Gettleman addresses lack of trades back

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman is well known for a few tendencies in the draft, but the most famous might be his lack of trades back. Gettleman famously hasn’t traded back in the first round and many have wondered whether that will be on the cards for the 2021 draft.

There has, of course, been a lot of speculation about this after the Giants addressed some of their biggest needs already in free agency.

With those needs handled, it’s unclear whether the team wants to spend the 11th pick anyway or get more in return for trading further down into the round.

Some might expect the Giants to continue with Gettleman’s pattern of not making these trades back, but according to him, he’s tried in the past. The circumstances just haven’t worked out to make it actually happen.

There’s a couple of different things this could mean.

One of them is that the Giants just haven’t gotten good trade offers and that they made the right move by not trading down. The alternative is that Gettleman has simply been too conservative with his decision making and the Giants have passed on deals that would have benefited them.

We can’t know which of those things is true because none of us except those in the organization know just which offers the Giants have received.

The fate of the team’s first round pick this year might very well depend on whether or not the Giants get an offer that amazes them. We’ll just have to wait and see as we get closer to the draft and more comes out about the team’s rumored strategy.

New York Giants: Dave Gettleman receives poor rank among veteran GMs

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

General Manager is one of the most important positions within a football team, and the New York Giants have had Dave Gettleman in that spot for the past few years. Gettleman’s time with the franchise has been a polarizing issue that has produced both supporters and harsh critics. Some have even shifted from one stance to another as this Giants offseason has felt different from the last few.

However, in a recent ranking of GMs from NFL Network, Gettleman was ranked as the second worst. To his credit, not every GM was listed in the rankings. Those with less than two drafts were excluded, effectively giving some GMs a grace period that Gettleman doesn’t fall into. The critics will likely agree with this take, but is it true?

What the rankings had to say about Gettleman

It’s early, but selecting tackle Andrew Thomas at No. 4 overall last year when three standout tackles were taken after him is a troubling sign. Meanwhile, the jury is still out on No. 6 overall pick Daniel Jones. Less so for fellow 2019 first-round pick DeAndre Baker, whom the Giants traded up for but who’s no longer on the team. (New York’s other first-rounder from two years ago, Dexter Lawrence, is a nice contributor.) It’s not Saquon Barkley’s fault he tore his ACL, but an offense built around him in 2018-19 had its limitations. Gettleman wants a team full of large humans who can run the ball and stop the run, an approach that’s out of step with the current NFL. There is a ticking clock on Gettleman’s plan coming together in time.

The take here is one that most critics of Gettleman can agree with, and even many fans that don’t lean too strongly in either direction on this issue. It’s an objective fact that Gettleman has underperformed and made moves that haven’t panned out how the Giants hoped. The case of DeAndre Baker was a clear cut mistake, either in the Giants trading up for the player in the first place or the way they handled his exit depending on how you look at things.

And, while Barkley is one of the most popular Giants, Gettleman’s decision to rely on a running back by taking one at number two overall caused some to raise their eyebrows at the time – especially when injuries came into play during Barkley’s last two seasons.

The article doesn’t go into Gettleman’s free agency decisions, but those have been just as much of a mixed bag as his draft history. While Gettleman has brought on players like Blake Martinez, James Bradberry, and now Kenny Golladay, many fans were ready to see him go by the time those additions were made.

In the defense of Gettleman

We’ve seen the reasons why Gettleman was ranked as one of the worst GMs in the league, but it’s only fair to look at things from the other point of view also. Joe Judge has gotten much of the credit for high profile free agents joining the Giants, and while the head coach does influence free agency to an extent, it’s still the job of the General Manager to negotiate and close deals.

A great head coach doesn’t always mean great free agents, and credit can’t be removed entirely from the one in charge of actually making deals with free agents. This offseason, we also saw the cap situation handled relatively well. The Giants did lose Dalvin Tomlinson, but Nate Solder’s massive deal was successfully restructured and the Giants were able to bring on multiple important free agent additions despite their tricky spot with the cap.

Also, Joe Judge has been the biggest factor in the team’s turnaround, but it’s safe to say the Giants organization wouldn’t have taken a chance on Judge in the first place if he didn’t work well with the existing GM that the franchise has shown a commitment to keeping around.

The GM is often involved in the coaching search, and while we don’t know if that was the case with the Giants and Judge, the possibility that Gettleman was involved in some way or another in bringing Judge on board shouldn’t be ignored.

The verdict

Gettleman is far from a perfect GM – and there’s some entirely valid reasons why a lot of fans have called for him to be fired. However, based on the last offseason and the upwards trend for the Giants, it’s a bit of an outdated take to call him the second worst veteran GM in the league.

After all, even if the Giants are largely having success behind a head coach that’s turned the culture around, you can’t just discount the impact of the work behind the scenes in the front office on that process. The GM position exists for a reason, and has its own duties that are supportive of, but separate from, those of a head coach.

New York Giants: Is it safe to say Dave Gettleman has improved?

When the New York Giants moved on from Pat Shurmur, much of the fanbase wanted to see Dave Gettleman gone as GM too.

And understandably so. Sure. he’d made some moves like drafting Saquon Barkley, the team’s best weapon. But Barkley’s injuries have held back his progress and kept him from being as much of a slam dunk pick as he would have been healthy. Also, Barkley was the obvious pick – it doesn’t take a genius to take the best player on the board.

Gettleman also drafted Daniel Jones. And the verdict isn’t out yet on whether Jones is for real or a stepping stone. The pick didn’t do much to endear him to many, especially when neither the selection nor the free agency class would save the Giants from another bad year.

Many attributed Gettleman keeping his job to the Giants simply being a patient franchise, rather than skill. But has the situation changed since then?

A high level offseason

It’s hard to say things are the same as before. After all, the Giants are doing something they haven’t done in the past few years and welcoming a top free agent at a premier position, with wide receiver Kenny Golladay. They were counted out in the race for him earlier in the offseason, but the team management was able to make it happen and, while it’s said the Giants overpaid, they were still able to bring in another big addition to help the team.

That other big addition is Adoree’ Jackson, who looks like the team’s second corner and will finally fill the big gap left when the Giants moved on from DeAndre Baker. Also, Baker had a shaky track record when he was a Giant and Jackson represents an upgrade from the previous standard.

On the other hand, there’s decisions that some won’t agree with. Giving a big deal to Leonard Williams, most notably, overpaying Golladay, and watching Dalvin Tomlinson walk because of these decisions.

And it’s not quite possible to say yet, before we’ve seen just how well Gettleman’s judgement is here, whether these are good decisions or not.

So really, at the end of the day, the question of whether Gettleman has improved or not depends on how much you trust his view of things in this offseason’s biggest flashpoints.

Has he become savvy, adding premier free agents the Giants need for a quicker turn around after a sluggish rebuilding process? Or simply out of touch and throwing big money at players that don’t deserve it?

We’ll find out the answer this season – but the fanbase will likely be divided about that until then, and even going into it.

New York Giants: Steve Smith harsh on Dave Gettleman’s free agency

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants have started making moves in free agency and there will be varying takes about just how good or bad those moves are – and one of the harsher takes is coming from a veteran of the NFL, Steve Smith. Smith, of course, has a shared history with Giants GM Dave Gettleman due to their time in Carolina. And because of how Smith’s time there ended, it isn’t a friendly relationship.

Smith has some harsh words for how Gettleman has made choices so far in free agency, specifically when it comes to his own position of wide receiver. You can be the judge of whether there’s merit here or if Smith is just still worked up over a past grudge.

Steve Smith’s harsh take

“They don’t want an alpha… So what they want are robots who aren’t going to make a stink, who are gonna fall in place, which will end up stunting the growth of your franchise quarterback because you either want a robot or 6-foot-2, 215 or above wide receiver. You don’t want a playmaker. You want cheap. You want people that aren’t gonna make a stink in the locker room,” Smith said on NFL Network, where he works as an analyst now.

This comes after the Giants made the decision to bring in Bengals receiver John Ross, who was considered a draft bust by many but will have a one year deal to prove himself. Ross does have potential due to his fast physical attributes but the signing will of course leave fans wanting for more at the playmaking positions due to the sluggish offense last season.

Some might say that Smith is just continuing his grudge with Gettleman, and that might be true, but the Giants do need to continue adding to their list of playmakers if they want to step forward next season – relying on John Ross proving himself isn’t going to be enough.

And whether or not they can do that might be the defining factor in whether or not this take from a former Gettleman player about this year’s free agent class is actually correct.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones called “everything we want” by Dave Gettleman

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

In case you didn’t believe the New York Giants were committed to Daniel Jones going forward, GM Dave Gettleman would confirm that once again while speaking on Tuesday. The Giants have expressed that Jones is their future multiple times, but since this is the offseason when roster moves are being made, it needed to be said one more time. And if you believe Gettleman here, there’s really no chance we end up with a different QB anytime soon.

Gettleman claims there’s no need to look at QBs

“We’ve done the evaluation on him and we really believe he’s the guy. No reason to go look,” Gettleman said, denying that the Giants might look at free agent quarterbacks. “What we’re doing isn’t fantasy football, we’re not playing, we’re not doing that. We’ve got a conviction on him, he’s everything we want, he’s got all the physical skills and again I say this all the time, the kid just finished his second year of NFL football.”

Gettleman stressed that it takes time and that most aren’t the best at their job after two years. He reaffirmed once again that the team believes in Daniel Jones.

But it remains to be seen how far out this order of things will last if Jones doesn’t make the big step forward that many are hoping for in 2021. He’ll have some advantages compared to 2020 if the Giants can do what everyone is hoping, and add better weapons to the offense this year. But as we saw with the team’s losing streak in the first half of last season, patience will wear thin quickly if that doesn’t bring quick results.

Still, it really looks like the Giants are unlikely to change course anytime soon, and they’ve practically said it themselves on a number of occasions, both head coach Joe Judge and GM Dave Gettleman. We’re going to have Daniel Jones as the QB for the future, whether or not the fans believe the Giants can win down the line with him.

New York Giants: 3 major takeaways from Joe Judge, Dave Gettleman press-conference

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman, Joe Judge

The New York Giants have a ton of moves to make in the near future, especially with the franchise tag deadline on March 9 at 4 PM and free agency starting on March 17.

With plenty of action to come over the next two weeks, head coach Joe Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman hosted a press conference to answer questions. The Giants have already made several moves, including the release of Golden Tate and David Mayo. The Giants have also restructured the contract of Levine Toilolo and are preparing to tag Leonard Williams.

Three major takeaways for the New York Giants:

1.) Gettleman tips cap on tackle situation

With veteran RT Cam Fleming hitting free agency, the only serviceable player on the roster they can start at the position is Matt Peart, former 3rd round pick from the 2020 NFL draft. Gettleman affirmed that he would feel comfortable with Andrew Thomas and Peart starting at both tackle spots in 2021. He mentioned that the former UConn product showed enough and that he had some good reps last season before being diagnosed with COVID-19.

This could be a tip of the cap from Gettleman, but I am under the impression the Giants will roll with an extremely young offensive line 2021.

2.) Evan Engram isn’t going anywhere

The Giants seem to be enamored with TE Evan Engram, who was a direct result of multiple turnovers in 2020 and dropped a multitude of passes. Head coach Joe Judge remained positive and confident arhat EE can bounce back in a big way moving forward. He detailed his work ethic and discipline to improvement, which is something that Judge loves to see in his players. If EE can alleviate those drops, there’s no question he can be one of the best receiving TEs in the NFL.

3.) Building through the draft

Successful teams don’t build through free agency, they need to consistently draft well. That is something that Judge understands greatly and is focused on putting together a strong scouting department and phenomenal coaching staff to maximize their selections. With only a minimal amount of money this season, the Giants will undoubtedly have to rely on the 2021 NFL draft to solve some of their problems.