Now that Dave Gettleman has been hired as the general manager of the New York Giants, there is little time to waste. He has a big job ahead.
The Giants (2-13) are a mess, and there is work to be done. Gettleman and owners John Mara and Steve Tisch should be busy the next few days working on a coaching search that will kick into high gear Sunday night after the regular season concludes. They must find the right guy this time around.
It is going to be a busy few months for Gettleman and the Giants. Here are the biggest tasks at hand for the new general manager:
Help find a coach
Mara made it clear this month that the next Giants GM wouldn’t have final say on a coaching hire. That belongs to Mara and Tisch. But Gettleman will have significant input in the process and be part of the interviews. Several of the candidates (Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks?) will likely even be of his choosing. The Giants are expected to begin the interview process next week and should have a new head coach by the end of January. Then they can start addressing some monumental personnel issues.
Decide on Odell Beckham Jr.
After getting injured this year, Beckham isn’t stepping on the field until he gets paid. It’s simple business. Gettleman and the Giants must decide whether to commit to him long term or trade him for a boatload of picks. If it’s the latter, Gettleman should be committed to a total rebuild. If he’s ready to hitch his tenure to the star receiver, it needs to be done sooner rather than later to avoid the drama. Gettleman jettisoned some big stars and personalities (Josh Norman and Steve Smith) in Carolina. He might want to do the same with Beckham and the Giants. But don’t be surprised to see assistant GM Kevin Abrams, assuming he returns, handling the bulk of the negotiations. That should be part of the Giants’ new setup and help Gettleman avoid some of the problems he encountered in Carolina.
Where to go in the draft
The biggest decisions facing the future of the franchise are Beckham and what to do with the No. 2 or No. 3 pick in next year’s draft. (Note: Quarterback Eli Manning turns 37 next week and won’t be around forever.) This is a prime opportunity for the Giants to land their quarterback of the future. It’s a chance for the organization to find its next Manning. Will the Giants pull that trigger or go elsewhere with the highest pick since they selected Carl Banks third overall in 1984? It’s ultimately up to Gettleman.
Decide on Manning
Manning’s future is up in the air. Do the Giants want him and does he really want to stay if they draft his successor in the first round? Nobody really knows. We’ll find out in the coming months. The presence of Gettleman would seem to increase the chances of Manning remaining for at least one more season. He has two years remaining on his contract. Gettleman knows him and has a connection to the quarterback who helped him earn two Super Bowl rings.
Clean out locker room
The Giants had a flawed roster this season. They did not handle adversity well. Instead, they spiraled out of control. Gettleman will be charged with cleansing the locker room of some of the problems that have plagued them this season. He can start with the cornerbacks room, where three players were suspended. The offensive and defensive line rooms are other areas he will need to evaluate in the coming months. Gettleman is known as a no-nonsense general manager. Expect some much-needed housecleaning of the locker room.
Rebuild the offensive line
Gettleman is a proponent of power football. Just look at the team he built in Carolina. He will evaluate the Giants’ offensive line and realize the need for a major restocking. Gettleman told ESPN’s John Clayton in 2016: “Tom Coughlin taught me a great thing. Big men allow you to compete. If you don’t have big men, you can’t compete.” With these Giants, that tenet will ring true more than ever. Gettleman will likely begin his major personnel moves with the offensive line, both in the draft and free agency. Don’t be surprised to see him try to improve the depth on the defensive line early in his tenure as well. These are the obvious places to begin.