I am often asked to put a grade on or otherwise judge the work done to date by New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman.
Anyone who reads my work or listens to the ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast regularly knows that my chosen stance has been to defer — to say that we don’t yet have enough evidence to judge whether Gettleman was the right choice as general manager for the Giants.
That remains my view. Just Saturday, in fact, I defended Gettleman when I felt a reader had asked a misguided and misinformed question in our weekly mailbag.
But ... yes, it’s time for there to be a “but.”
It’s time to begin keeping score.
Gettleman has now been in charge of two full offseason cycles. He has had two full drafts. The roster that will represent the Giants in 2019 is his.
I have long maintained that Jerry Reese created the mess the Giants have been in for the past few years. He dug the hole. Tom Coughlin and Ben McAdoo didn’t dig the hole. Gettleman didn’t dig the hole. Eli Manning, despite what some would like you to believe, didn’t dig the hole. He fell into it.
Gettleman was hired to pick up Reese’s crumbled pieces and put the Giants back together again. We are far enough into this process now that once the games begin this fall it will be fair to begin passing judgment.
Reese’s pieces are gone.
Few remnants of the Reese era remain.
Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, Landon Collins, Eli Apple, Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Bobby Hart and others brought in by Reese are just memories.
Zak DeOssie, the Giants’ Jurassic snapper, is still around. Janoris Jenkins has somehow survived the roster upheaval. Only a handful of Reese draft picks — Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Dalvin Tomlinson, Wayne Gallman, Paul Perkins, B.J. Goodson, Avery Moss — have a chance to be Giants when the 2019 season opens. Not all of those guys are going to make the season-opening 53-man roster.
The Giants are now Getty’s Guys
Gettleman has the head coach who came in with him, and whose hiring he approved of.
He has the future franchise quarterback everyone knew he would have to draft, and whose success or failure his legacy as Giants’ GM will forever be linked to. He got that quarterback not from the historic 2018 class or the said-to-be-loaded 2020 class, but by falling in “full bloom love” with one from what analysts believe to be a weaker 2019 class.
“In three years we’ll find out how crazy I am,” is what Gettleman told Peter King about the backlash from his selection of Jones.
By then, we will know if Gettleman was crazy like a fox or, well, just crazy to make the moves he has made.
Not every Gettleman decision will work out well. Some have already flopped, like the free agent signings of Patrick Omameh and Jonathan Stewart a year ago. At least he had the courage to admit those mistakes and move on.
“Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t. They’d better work out more often than not.,” said Diamond. “Everybody’s got their own opinion, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we’ll see what happens.”
Indeed we will. Like everything else with Gettleman, it’s likely to be a fascinating ride.
The Giants are not whole yet. They are not what they will be, and we likely won’t know what that is until we see what Jones becomes. They are now, however, fully Gettleman’s Giants. His guys. The product we see on the field in 2019 will be based almost entirely on decisions he has made.
“Time will tell,” Gettleman told New York media. “We’re going to know how good this draft was in three years. That’s when we’ll know. We’ll know how good last year’s draft was in two more years.”
By then we will also know whether he was right to build around Saquon Barkley when common wisdom devalues the running back position and says you can’t be successful that way.
We will know if he was right to put his faith in Eli Manning, or if doing so just delayed the inevitable transition and set the Giants back.
We will know if Gettleman was right to ship Beckham — and Vernon — Cleveland.
We will know if he was right to stiff-arm Collins and let him go to the NFC East rival Washington Redskins.
We will know if his draft choices have been right.
We will know if, as Diamond said, he has made more right decisions than wrong ones — enough to get the Giants back to being a good football team.
So, no, you can’t yet give Gettleman a final grade. Not even close. You can, though, begin to keep score.
About Landon Collins and Josh Norman
You probably noticed this week that ex-Giant Landon Collins and ex-Panther Josh Norman, now members of the Redskins, each said that Gettleman had basically done their new team a favor this offseason. You may have also noticed that we didn’t rush to make headlines of those claims here at Big Blue View.
Collins said the Redskins “stole the best quarterback” in the draft thanks to Gettleman drafting Jones and leaving them Haskins. Norman said Gettleman is “winning for” the Redskins with his decisions.
They both might end up being right, but their comments are also predictable. Neither is a Gettleman fan as both are in Washington because Gettleman decided not to pay them the big-money deals they sought — and got from the Redskins.
I just can’t get all fired up about them.
Tweets of the week
Making a difference in people’s lives — not winning and losing football games — is what is truly important. Here are a few examples of people doing that:
We asked @Michael31Thomas of the NY @Giants at our #GridironGala what community means to him. And he gave the perfect response #LiveUnitedNYC #UWNYC #MotivationMonday #CommunityQuarterback pic.twitter.com/dkOK4gKcap— United Way of NYC (@unitedwaynyc) May 13, 2019
What a fulfilling four weeks we spent with the students of Lewis F. Cole Middle School A “giant” thank you for welcoming us into your phys ed class each week with open arms! #Play60 #NYGinTheCommunity pic.twitter.com/essPii5ray— NYG in the Community (@GiantsCRDept) May 15, 2019
This next one has nothing to do with the Giants. It deserves, though, to be shared.