Giants co-owner Steve Tisch broke a two-year silence with a strong statement in the wake of GM Dave Gettleman’s dismissal on Monday.
“It is an understatement to say John [Mara] and I are disappointed by the lack of success we have had on the field,” Tisch said in a statement released by the team. “We are united in our commitment to find a general manager who will provide the direction necessary for us to achieve the on-field performance and results we all expect.”
A Giants press release tried to sell Gettleman’s departure as a retirement, but this is essentially a firing for four years of malpractice with a 19-46 record and .292 winning percentage.
Mara said in a statement that Gettleman’s replacement will be “a person who demonstrates exceptional leadership and communication abilities, somebody who will oversee all aspects of our football operations, including player personnel, college scouting and coaching.”
But what the Giants must do above all is hire a GM from outside the ‘family’ – someone with fresh ideas and a modern approach to building a sustainable winner.
It’s time for the modern-day version of Wellington Mara’s whisper to NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle in 1979, asking him to recommend George Young as a neutral party GM solution, since Wellington and his nephew Tim Mara wouldn’t accept each other’s candidates.
That’s what it took more than 40 years ago, and it’s going to take something that drastic now.
This franchise is not just damaged. It’s broken.
The Giants’ 22-59 record the past five years is tied for the worst in the league with the Jets. Coaching is not the reason why. Ownership’s poor decision-making has steered them into irrelevance, misguided by prioritizing loyalty over any willingness to evolve.
On Dec. 4, 2017, Mara and Tisch unforgettably fired coach Ben McAdoo and two-time Super Bowl winning GM Jerry Reese after an Eli Manning benching that Mara had approved.
The Giants then interviewed four GM candidates, three from inside the ‘family’ at the time: the longtime Giants employee Gettleman, assistant GM Kevin Abrams and VP of player evaluation Marc Ross. Only former Eagles personnel exec Louis Riddick was an outsider.
Gettleman, predictably, was hired. Ownership wanted him to run it back with Manning. The GM obliged, and it backfired in spectacular fashion, burying the franchise in ignominy.
Years of bad drafting, poor free agent signings, and bad contracts have accumulated to drown the Giants in the NFC East basement. And the kicker was in Jan. 2020, when the Giants fired coach Pat Shurmur but retained Gettleman out of loyalty, folding another head coach in Joe Judge under the veil of the franchise’s dark recent past.
Now the only way out is to solicit new ideas from the outside — even if there are some in the building like Tim McDonnell, Mara’s nephew and co-director of player personnel, who are respected and promise to continue having some kind of voice.
That’s why ruling Abrams out as a candidate to replace Gettleman, as one source did Monday, was a requisite starting point to this search.
The Giants got right to the first round of interview requests, putting in for Joe Schoen (Bills), according to a source, and reportedly for Ryan Poles (Chiefs), Ryan Cowden (Titans), Monti Ossenfort (Titans), Adrian Wilson (Cardinals), Adam Peters (49ers) and Ran Carthon (49ers), as well.
It’s amazing that the Giants were so prepared with a list of candidates when the team claimed ownership had learned from Gettleman’s intentions to retire “within the past few days,” isn’t it?
Mara and Tisch also would be wise to check out Will McClay (Cowboys), Ed Dodds (Colts) and Dave Ziegler (Patriots), among others.
They need to move quickly and efficiently, because they’re now competing with the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, who fired GMs Ryan Pace and Rick Spielman, respectively.
The Giants also need to get this done in a timely fashion because there is no offseason time to waste. The Senior Bowl and Combine are upcoming. Their new front office needs to scout and finalize evaluations. They need to retool their current coaching staff or hire a whole new one.
Gettleman, at least, won’t be involved in another personnel process. He leaves with a legacy of ignorant and poor asset management, and a lack of an ability to assess his own team, let alone the players he added to it.
He used the 2018 No. 2 overall pick on oft-injured running back Saquon Barkley, refusing to take calls on a possible deal back. He traded up to draft bad seed DeAndre Baker in the 2019 first round.
He vindictively shipped Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland in 2019, cutting off the Giants organization’s nose to spite its face. And he promised to fix the offensive line, only to leave the Giants four years later with only one capable starter for five spots in 2022.
His only remaining hope for setting the Giants up favorably in some way for the future lies in Daniel Jones’ health and ability to take the next step into being a franchise quarterback. Gettleman selected Jones No. 6 overall in 2019 and was ridiculed for reaching.
The jury remains out, but Jones is sidelined with a neck injury entering the fourth year of his rookie contract. And it’s questionable whether the Giants should even pick up his fifth-year option for 2023 this spring.
Even Gettleman accurately called his results “disappointing” in a Monday statement. But true to form, the Giants let loyalty get the best of them again on Sunday.
They had the outgoing GM’s family and friends on the MetLife Stadium sideline for pre-game photos, oblivious to what it signified compared to their cold midseason firing of Reese with four games to play in 2017.
Hopefully, this wasn’t a sign that the Giants are continuing to ignore any objective barometer in favor of their own.
Source: Berkshire mont