There are few executives in professional sports who are the subject of more criticism and the butt of more jokes than New York Giants’ GM Dave Gettleman. Not that he cares about those things at all.
Gettleman has been roundly panned for several moves he’s made since taking over the reins in New York following the 2017 season. Among them were drafting a running back (albeit a great one in Saquon Barkley) over a quarterback with the No. 2 pick in last year’s NFL Draft, trading star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., remaining loyal to 38-year-old quarterback Eli Manning and letting standout safety Landon Collins walk.
From the outside, it looks like to some that the 68-year-old Gettleman is a bumbling dinosaur running his team into the ground with an outdated philosophy of team-building. But the man dubbed “The Most Interesting Man in the NFL,” by NJ.com’s Steve Politi laughs off the critics.
In an exclusive with Politi and NJ.com, Gettleman defended his moves, pointing to his past experience as proof that he’s more than qualified to be the point man of this Giants’ rebuild.
“I’ve been to seven Super Bowls,” Gettleman said. “I feel very strongly that I know what it should look like, what it should smell like, what it should taste like. And, so, you can look at me and say, well, I either know what I’m doing or I’m a big fat rabbit’s foot. Neither one’s bad, right? I like my resume so far.”
“You have to have a philosophy, and you have to be intentional with every single move. And you can’t panic. I’ve told John Mara, we’re going to fix this. We’re going to put a team out there that everyone is going to be proud of.”
After a stretch of eight consecutive seasons without a losing record from 2005-12–a span that included a pair of Super Bowl titles–the Giants have fallen on hard times. New York has made the playoffs once in the last six seasons, posting double-digit losses in four of the last five years.
Coming off a 5-11 season, Gettleman has a massive chance to change some of the narrative around his tenure with the franchise. He has 12 picks in this week’s NFL Draft, including a pair of first-rounders.
If Gettleman can find enough defensive playmakers and perhaps a quarterback of the future, it might quell some of the criticism that has built up.