Giants GM Gettleman to Retire; Coach’s Fate Uncertain

The Giants have only had five general managers since 1974, a period of stability and patience exemplified by the four Super Bowl trophies on display at their headquarters in East Rutherford, NJ But it’s been 10 years since their last title – five since their last playoff appearance – and that time frame might as well be an era in their universe.

The day after another Giants’ season-long fiasco that reached its merciful conclusion, with a 22-7 home loss to Washington that brought their record down to 4-13, the team embarked on another redesign. The Giants announced that their general manager, Dave Gettleman, had retired, but gave no details on the status of coach, Joe Judge.

The judge addressed the team on Monday, as usual, but was not made available to the media, and the owners of the team did not recognize his status beyond a brief allusion in a press release.

Describing his ideal qualities for Gettleman’s successor, part-owner John Mara said the team’s next GM will oversee all aspects of Giants football operations, including coaching. So it seems possible that the person the Giants end up hiring might choose to bring in their own coach rather than submit to the kind of arranged marriage that rarely works.

Despite all the continuity of the Giants’ front office over the past decades, they have struggled to identify a coach with the resistance – and success – of Tom Coughlin, who resigned in January 2016 after 12 seasons. His replacement, Ben McAdoo, reached the playoffs in his first season, but failed for a second. The next two coaches, Pat Shurmur and Judge, both hired by Gettleman, are 19-46, the team’s worst four-year streak since 1975-78.

Gettleman, 70, a longtime Giants executive who built the 2015 NFC Panthers champion, inherited a team at the end of the 2017 season that had quarterback uncertainty , a porous offensive line and a vacant head coach position. He leaves an uncertain quarterback team, a porous offensive line and, perhaps, a vacant head coach position. For the first time in some time, the Giants are worse off than their MetLife Stadium roommate, the Jets, who are also 4-13 but have a promising quarterback in Zach Wilson and strong leadership from trainer Robert Saleh and General Manager Joe Douglas.

The Giants’ plunge into disarray under Gettleman has been both gradual and unforeseen, dating back to his first draft, in 2018: With the second overall pick, he rejected the diminished value of running backs by selecting Saquon Barkley instead of a quarterback, or even elite guard Quenton Nelson.

Compromised with injuries and hurt by the Giants’ poor run blocking, Barkley has missed 18 games in the past two seasons and has only run for 627 yards on two touchdowns.

After the 2019 season, Mara said he hopes Gettleman will remain GM for many years and the owners believe he is capable of building a “great” team. He does not have.

In free agency, Gettleman handed out major contracts that backfired against offensive tackle Nate Solder ($ 62 million) and receivers Golden Tate ($ 37.5 million) and Kenny Golladay ($ 72 million). He signed wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for a huge overtime, making him the highest-paid wide receiver in the league, then traded him for players – Jabrill Peppers, Dexter Lawrence and Oshane Ximines – who did not become stars.

Gettleman also invested the sixth overall pick of 2019 in Daniel Jones, who, playing behind a lean offensive line, has neither flopped nor offered demonstrable proof that he should be considered the long-term quarterback of the team.

Gettleman took some smart action, such as signing cornerback James Bradberry ahead of the 2020 season; the writing of left tackle Andrew Thomas and wide receiver Kadarius Toney; and returning to last April’s draft – for his first time as general manager – to amass another first-round pick in the 2022 draft.

The two premium selections, at No.5 and 7, now pass on to an as yet undetermined cadre of the Giants the same charge given to Gettleman four years ago: to restore a dying franchise – the franchise of George Young and Ernie Accorsi and Jerry Reese – to respectability.

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