As the season winds down for the New York Giants the biggest question about their future is whether or not general manager Dave Gettleman is going to be part of it.
Well-connected NFL Draft analyst Tony Pauline said on The Draft Insiders podcast he is hearing “the needle is moving toward the Giants letting Gettleman go.” Pauline added that “Joe Judge is going to have a lot of input into what happens.”
Pauline said Nick Caserio of the New England Patriots “makes a lot of sense.”
The view here is that’s news that isn’t really news. Or, at least should not be even a little bit surprising.
When the Giants were winning four straight games it seemed like everything was peachy and the arrow was pointing toward keeping the GM. A couple of losses that have brought everyone back to earth and reinforced the reality that the Giants are still a losing team with a lot of work to do now has that needle pointing toward Gettleman having his key card revoked.
Remember a little more than a month ago when I did a four-part series on Gettleman? In the “should he stay or should he go?” part of that series I wrote this:
“Judge is going to be around for a while. That much is clear. He has a vision for where he wants to go and how he wants to get there. That much is also clear. The other thing that is clear is that it will be Judge’s vision that guides the franchise for the next few years.
“Is Gettleman, who has always said work between the GM and coach is “collaborative” and that the front office is “support staff” for the head coach, the right GM to help implement that vision? Would someone like Tennessee Titans Director of Player Personnel Monti Ossenfort, who worked with Judge during their days with the New England Patriots, or current Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio, be a better fit with the head coach?
“How does the front office view the Barkley injury and the impact of COVID-19 on the team’s 2020 season? Do they believe it’s fair to push the GM after such a weird and unprecedented season? ...
“In the end, though, it really comes down to the nitty-gritty of the working relationship between Gettleman and Judge.”
Whether Pauline is right, or whether former GM Jeff Diamond who told me a month ago he thought Gettleman would stay on for another year is right, depends on Judge.
The head coach isn’t making the decision, but the Giants are now Judge’s team. They are not Gettleman’s. The vision of where the Giants are going and how they are going to get there is Judge’s. The GM needs to be on board both with implementing that vision and with the seemingly reality that he probably isn’t going to be the most powerful voice when it comes to personnel.
Caserio is ALWAYS the first name at the top of the list of potential Gettleman replacements, so Pauline isn’t breaking news there. Caserio has been Director of Player Personnel for the New England Patriots since 2008. Thing is, Caserio’s name has come up in the GM rumor mill for years. He’s turned down an unknown number of interviews over the years to stay in New England, where the model is that Bill Belichick is the ultimate decision-maker and Caserio plays second-fiddle.
Would he finally leave New England to join Judge, a coach he knows well from Judge’s time in New England? Would Caserio leave the Patriots to take a job where he again would seem destined to play second-fiddle?
I don’t know what’s going to happen with Gettleman? I think it could go either way. Whichever way it goes, I think it’s less about anything that has happened since Gettleman became GM and more about whether or not the Giants have the right GM to mesh with their young head coach and try to implement his vision.
Logan Ryan’s deal
In my view, the Giants made a great move by signing Logan Ryan for the next three seasons. Ryan is a good player and a fantastic leader who quickly became a critical piece of the Giants’ defense and of the program that Judge is trying to build with the Giants.
Ryan is also a great guy who has undoubtedly earned a contract that should set him and his family up for the remainder of their lives.
The Giants really have a solid defensive core under contract for next season:
DB Logan Ryan
S Jabrill Peppers
DB Julian Love
DB Xavier McKinney
CB James Bradberry
LB Blake Martinez
LB Lorenzo Carter
DL Dexter Lawrence
DL B.J. Hill
LB David Mayo
The big free agent question is whether they can sign one or both of Dalvin Tomlinson and Leonard Williams. Otherwise, the questions are can they find a premier EDGE defender and a cornerback who would allow them to be more aggressive in coverage?
Still, I think that list offers a pretty good starting place for 2021.
Goodbye, Golden Tate?
Wide receiver Golden Tate will not play Sunday due to a calf injury. If that injury is severe enough to keep him out of action next Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, as well, we may have seen the last of Tate as a Giant.
It’s clear that the Giants, near the bottom of the league in explosive plays generated on offense, need more than the return of a healthy Saquon Barkley in 2021 to fix their punchless offense. They need to revamp their receiving corps. It’s also clear that the 32-year-old Tate should not be part of the Giants’ future.
The Giants can save $8.5 million against the 2021 salary cap by designating Tate a post-June 1 cut, and they should do exactly that. Tate has been neither the productive player nor the solid citizen the Giants were expecting when they gave him a four-year, $40 million contract as the replacement for Odell Beckham Jr.
Tate lost four games in 2019 to a PED suspension. This season, his on-field behavior led to his being inactive for a game.
Tate can still make the occasional spectacular grab on a 50-50 ball, but his production has fallen way off in 2020. His 2.9 catches and 32.3 yards receiving per game are his lowest numbers since he became a full-time starter in 2012.
Once one of the game’s most devastating receivers after catching the ball, Tate is averaging only 2.3 yards after the catch this season. Tate broke 15 tackles in 2018, but only three last season and none this year.
The Giants need to move on.