Dave Gettleman doesn’t care what anybody thinks of his decisions as New York Giants general manager.
Gettleman doesn’t give a hoot what I think. What you think. What analysts Louis Riddick (who wanted his job), Marc Ross (who Gettleman fired) or any member of the skeptical New York or national media thinks.
He also doesn’t care to go into detail explaining his thought process behind every decision, or rumored decision.
“Really and truly, very honestly, it’s not my responsibility to tell you guys what I’m doing,” Gettleman said Monday. “Just like it’s not my responsibility to respond to every rumor that comes down the pike. That’s not my job. It’s not my responsibility.”
To be honest, Gettleman really shouldn’t care what anyone thinks of the moves he makes. Other than Giants ownership and Pat Shurmur, who has to coach the roster Gettleman creates, of course.
What Gettleman should care about, and does care about, is restoring the New York Football Giants, an iconic NFL franchise that has lost its way, to its place among the league’s elite teams.
The emotional outpouring from some following the Beckham trade and the expression of belief that the Giants, trading away or letting leave some of their best players while keeping a 38-year-old quarterback who isn’t their future, is understandable.
Beckham is a great player, and his on-field brilliance has provided some bright spots in a largely dark time for the Giants and their fans.
Remember something Gettleman said during his Monday conference call:
“It’s about building a team, it’s not about individual players in silos.”
Beckham set all sorts of franchise and NFL records in his five seasons with the Giants. In those five years, though, the Giants went 31-49 in the regular season and got drubbed in their only playoff game.
They weren’t good. In fact, they have mostly been bad. Not blaming Beckham, or Landon Collins, or Olivier Vernon, or Jason Pierre-Paul, or Damon Harrison for that. It is, however, the reality.
If you can lose with ‘em, you can lose without ‘em.
Gettleman isn’t tearing apart, reshaping, re-constructing or rebuilding something that was working. He’s not breaking down the New England Patriots. Or even the Carolina Panthers, where he used to be GM. He’s trying to fix something that is broken.
Reality is, the Giants have been mostly bad for the past seven years. They have one blowout playoff loss in that time, and have had a losing record five of the past six years. They were a broken 3-13 disaster when Gettleman became general manager.
We have said before that Gettleman hates to say what he is doing is rebuilding the Giants. He again chafed at the suggestion on Monday.
“We’re building,” Gettleman said. “The object of this is to win as many games as possible every year. We’re building. We were 3-13 when I took over. We were 5-11 last year -- 12 of those games were by a touchdown or less. We’re building. I don’t understand why that’s a question. Really and truly, you can win while you’re building.”
Gettleman has 12 draft picks this year and oodles of cap space next offseason to build with. Let’s see what he does with that bounty.
There is justified skepticism. There is an old belief that you never trust someone who has to ask for that trust. Gettleman on Monday asked to be trusted.
“Trust me, we’ve got a plan,” Gettleman said. “Over time, you’ve got to be patient. Everybody wants answers now in this instant-gratification society, instant-gratification world, and everybody wants answers now. Over time, you’ll see it. You’ve got to trust it.”
Trust it or not, Gettleman is also right that his work can’t — or shouldn’t — be judged now. In reference specifically to the Beckham trade, Gettleman said on Monday that the deal “really won’t be able to be completely evaluated until we get further down the road.”
Truth is, that goes for Gettleman’s entire body of work as Giants GM. The Giants have been in a bad place for a long time now, and they were about as far down in that dark hole as they could have been when Gettleman was given the job of trying to haul them out.
Can he do it? I don’t know. You don’t know. He doesn’t know.
The one thing I believe we do know is that none of this can be judged accurately now. This all might be a spectacular success. Or an equally spectacular failure.
We just don’t know yet.