Dave Gettleman has been hired as the New York Giants General Manager. The quick reaction is predictable with mixed pros & cons on the decision. We are on record as preferring Louis Riddick. By discussing Gettleman’s strengths and weaknesses we can better understand what the future will look like for Big Blue. Breaking down Gettleman’s performance using 8 categories, we objectively conclude that he is a mediocre choice. History isn’t written. It will be up to Gettleman to either improve upon his experience or not. Below is our analysis of his 4 year track record with the Panthers.
DRAFTING: Average. Let’s look at the 2013-2016 draft selections of the Carolina Panthers, when Gettleman was GM. If we are purely objective, we count 29 starter years and 3 Pro Bowl years. Scoring 1 pt for every year-start, one point for every pro bowl year and 2 points for every All Pro year, that yields 32 points for Gettleman’s Panthers while he was GM. If we compare that to every other franchise for the same 2013-2016 set of players drafted, Gettleman ranks 15th out of 32 GMs. So he is not going to do anything stellar (or awful). That is a balanced measure of his track record recently, as good as any way to objectively look at this criteria.
FLEXIBILITY: Poor. This may be a minor point for some, but it is a major point for this blogger. I want to see a GM with the humility to trade down in the Draft. 2013 no trades done. 2014 he traded up from 168 to 148. 2015 Gettleman traded up from 57 to 41 (Funchess, pictured) and he traded up from 124 to 102. In 2016 Gettleman traded up to take the 77th pick. So in 4 total years, he made 4 draft day trades and all were to move up. As a reminder, Jerry Reese NEVER traded down in 11 years. He always believed in what he wanted and never took the value and patience of dropping. There is a buyer for every seller. GMs overvalue the right to choose. This has been proven here on this blog and also by Professors at the University of Chicago. It is pure common sense to understand that if you are never trading down (and as demonstrated above, an average Drafter), you are giving away value on a net basis.
ARCHITECTURE: Good. Gettleman is already confronting the brutal fact that the Offensive Line s*cks. “We’re going to get it fixed.” (The fans were correct in wanting to see the team not recover from the midseason hole, uh cavern, the Giants found themselves in. If they recovered, they would still be in denial today about OL.) So assuming Gettleman prioritizes the line of scrimmage and keeps the good toys (OBJ, Engram and Shepard), that is going to be a positive for the Giants.
FREE AGENCY: Poor. Here are the Panthers’ Free Agent Moves by Year. Focusing on 2013-2016, he did not acquire one guy that made a difference. He made one good move, getting rid of the cancer Greg Hardy. You have to re-sign good players early before they become Free Agents. People incorrectly give Gettleman credit for not overpaying for Norman. Wonder, our NFL/Draft analyst, points out that Gettleman screwed up in not re-signing Norman a year or two BEFORE he became an expensive open market free agent. Accorsi speaks highly of what Gettleman did for him back with the Giants in putting good FA names in front of him. But we have to go by the track record of what Gettleman DID when he was GM. He had poor signings.
PLAYER RELATIONS: Poor. Just ask Steve Smith or DeAngelo Williams about Gettleman. He must do better. This is one area where there is a clear opportunity to structurally make improvements.
EXPERIENCE: Good. Having been a former GM, he should benefit from this 2nd bite of the apple with an organization that he is comfortable with.
AGE: Poor. Starting at Age 66 is not ideal. I (and you!) will be 66 one day too, so we all understand we do not want to discriminate. We must acknowledge (all the same) that if we want a GM with new ideas, energy and the ability to do the job at a high level for 10+ years, this is unlikely to be the guy. The NY Giants will be the first ones to tell you that they want continuity and deliberate decision-making. How is that going to happen if things go well and Gettleman starts getting sloppy because he can’t perform at the same level in 4 years? I know people who make contributions to organizations at a high level at a ripe old age, but I don’t necessarily want them managing the rest of us. When we talk about the positives for Gettleman putting forth Antonio Pierce as a Free Agent, that was 12 years ago. This is a different league now.
MEDIA RELATIONS: Good. He charmed the media in his introduction as the new GM. This area is one of Gettleman’s strengths. He will not be a problem in this capacity.
SUMMARY: this tallies to 3 Goods, 1 Average and 4 Poors. That is slightly below average. Objectively it is mediocre. The reason why the Giants picked Gettleman was because they knew him. They interviewed 4 guys. They knew 3 of them. They passed on the guy we liked, the outsider Louis Riddick. The choice is conservative. 31 teams lose, 1 team wins. You want reward, you take the risk. The Giants played it safe and it is an uninspiring choice. We have to hope the carryover from Reese (skill players) mesh with the non-skill players (LB, OL, DL) that Gettleman will bring in. We do not have a tremendous amount of confidence in what the Giants are trying to do, other than being safe with what they know. For what it is worth, that has not been working out.