Another season, another failed attempt at making the playoffs for the New York Giants. They were in contention for the postseason until the final week of the season, thanks to being in the lowly NFC East. That has to give some Giants fans confidence that their team is trending in the right direction, despite posting a 6-10 regular-season record.
The record might not look pretty, but many good things came out this season for New York. It seems like owner John Mara feels the same way, as he decided to bring back someone many thought wouldn’t return after this season.
David Gettleman will return as the Giants’ GM
The New York Giants have decided to keep general manager David Gettleman. Next year will be Gettleman’s fourth with the Giants. Success hasn’t been there for Gettleman during his tenure in New York, as the Giants have had 10 or more losses each season he has been there. Per ESPN, the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, and Jacksonville Jaguars are the only team that has a worse record than New York in the past four seasons.
Even though the losses have piled up, Mara cites Gettleman’s relationship with first-year head coach Joe Judge as a reason to bring him back. “I think the way Dave and Joe worked together…I think the two of them working together have started the building process of something that can have sustained success going forward,” said Mara per ESPN.
Judge’s sentiments were the same, saying that he “enjoyed working with Dave the entire year,” per ESPN. Judge has changed the identity of the Giants into a gritty, physical football team. Going into the second season together, Judge and Gettleman will look to build on that identity.
The Giants’ decision to bring back Gettleman shows the faith they have in him to get the Giants back to at least contending for the postseason. This could be because of Gettleman’s recent roster moves, which has set up Giants for future success.
David Gettleman’s recent roster moves saved him his job
Before this season, Gettleman’s roster moves haven’t always been the best, and he knows it. Think about trading Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a fourth-round pick. He also gave Nate Solder a four-year, $62 million extension. That hasn’t panned out either. Who could forget when he said he wouldn’t trade Odell Beckham Jr., then traded him to the Browns shortly after. Those are only a few of the questionable moves Gettleman made early in his Giants tenure.
“The best thing I can say is John said in 2018, we didn’t have a stellar roster-building season. It has affected us,” Gettleman said. Even though 2018 wasn’t their best year, Gettleman has rebounded the past couple of years with some solid roster moves.
One of the more successful moves Gettleman has made was drafting Saquon Barkley. Barkley’s star power is evident, and his on the field talent give the Giants a franchise cornerstone. The trade for Leonard Williams is looking like a win for Gettleman. Williams had a career-high 11 sacks in 2020, showing he has star potential.
This past offseason is what saved Gettleman’s job, as he signed some impact players that have improved the Giants defensively. New York signed James Bradberry, Blake Martinez, and Logan Ryan during the offseason, and all were essential parts in changing the Giants’ defensive identity. Gettleman has the G-Men trending in the right direction, but there is more work to be done.
The Giants’ Gettleman knows wins are a priority
Having improved roster moves and a great relationship with the coach is nice, but as Herm Edwards once said, “you play to win the game.” The Giants haven’t won much in recent years, posting a 15-33 record under David Gettleman. If Gettleman wants to keep his job, he knows the wins need to start accumulating.
“Obviously, [the wins] have to come soon. The idea is to win. Like I said, a lot of things have happened. We’re definitely on the right track,” Gettleman said.
The Giants have more opportunity to build their young roster with the No. 11 pick in the draft. They will have a tight cap situation but could open up more space by releasing some players. Gettleman will have to make some tough decisions about his roster, as Spotrac projects them to have approximately $5 million in cap space. The team still needs a No. 1 receiver and an edge rusher. Those aren’t positions that pay lightly.
The Giants saw enough positive things from Dave Gettleman to bring him back for 2021. Things are looking up for the G-Men, thanks to Gettleman’s recent moves and the culture shift implemented by Joe Judge. If Gettleman can continue to make the right moves, the Giants can turn into a playoff dark horse in 2021.
All stats courtesy of ESPN