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.”
The team tried to sell Gettleman’s departure as a retirement, but it amounted to a firing for four years of malpractice with a 19-46 record, a .292 winning percentage.
Mara said in a statement the Giants now are “looking for 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.”
Seeking a new GM who oversees the coaching staff leaves head coach Joe Judge’s status unclear. Judge’s Monday was “business as usual,” per Saquon Barkley, running exit and team meetings normally with no indication something was off.
But Judge wasn’t available to the media. Players said he didn’t make any special statement that he’s back. And Barkley couldn’t confirm Judge’s status.
“Um, I don’t really know how to answer that,” the running back said, shrugging his shoulders.
“I’m not sure,” defensive lineman Leonard Williams added, when asked if Judge will remain his coach. “I haven’t heard anything today to say otherwise. I love the guy, honestly. I love the way he approaches the game, and I like playing for him.”
The GM candidate list to replace Gettleman must be wide-ranging. It is expected to include names like Monti Ossenfort (Titans), Kevin Abrams (Giants), Will McClay (Cowboys), Ed Dodds (Colts), Joe Schoen (Bills), Dave Ziegler (Patriots) and likely others.
It certainly needs to be more comprehensive than the December of 2017 search that put Gettleman in the big chair. That year, the Giants only interviewed Gettleman, Abrams, VP of player evaluation Marc Ross, and former personnel exec/ESPN analyst Louis Riddick. Three of the four candidates were “in the family,” so to speak.
Ownership wanted Gettleman to run it back with Manning. The GM did that in 2018, and it backfired in colossal fashion, burying the franchise in ignominy and irrelevance.
Years of bad drafting, poor free agent signings, and bad contracts have the Giants (22-59) tied with the Jets for the worst record in the NFL over the past five seasons.
Gettleman’s 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.
But Jones is sidelined with a neck injury entering the fourth year of his rookie contract with questions lingering about whether the Giants should even pick up his fifth-year option for 2023 this spring.
Despite Gettleman’s “disappointing” tenure — his words, in a statement released Monday — the outgoing GM was allowed to have family and friends on the MetLife Stadium sideline for pre-game photos on Sunday.
That ceremony stood in stark contrast to Reese’s midseason firing on the gloomy morning of Dec. 4, 2017, after a road loss to the Oakland Raiders with Geno Smith starting at QB.
The Giants remain in a fog to this day.