If the Giants fire Dave Gettleman - and it's still a big if - it's impossible to guess which direction the franchise will turn for a new general manager. Because if there's one thing consistent about the last two times they changed GMs, it's that they prefer to keep it all in the family.
This time, if they make a change, that's almost certainly something they won't do.
And that will make things really interesting, with a field that could include just about anyone available. There is no history to draw from, no trends to watch, no obvious young executives they've been watching through the years.
The last time they switched GMs - in late 2017 - the choice was easy. Gettleman was a well-respected former Giants personnel executive who came with five years of GM experience in Carolina. In fact, the Giants only interviewed one candidate outside "the family." That was ESPN analyst Louis Riddick. The other two candidates were assistant Giants GM Kevin Abrams and former Giants scouting director Marc Ross.
And when Jerry Reese got his job in 2008, he was the Giants' scouting director at the time and an all-but designated successor to the retiring Ernie Accorsi. The only other candidate to interview was former Redskins and Texans GM Charley Casserly (though they did speak with Scott Pioli, then New England's VP of player personnel).
If Gettleman goes, it's doubtful one of his top lieutenants would get the job, and there is no Gettleman-like, former Giants executive sticking out from the rest of the field. That's one reason why some believe the Giants will ultimately decide to stick by their embattled general manager.
But if they don't, here's a look at some of the candidates who could emerge:
Kevin Abrams - Perhaps the one and only internal candidate if the Giants do decide to keep it in the family, though if they think things are bad enough to switch GMs this quickly, it'll be hard to sell someone from Gettleman's staff. That said, Abrams is a cap guru who has increased his portfolio in recent years with more personnel responsibility. Ideally, if things work out with Gettleman in the next few years, he'd be next in line.
Nick Caserio - The Patriots director of player personnel is a free agent after the season, and who wouldn't want someone who was a part of the NFL's greatest dynasty? But don't get too excited. The Houston Texans tried to get him last offseason, then didn't hire a GM in anticipation of getting him in 2020. That could be a done deal.
Louis Riddick - The Giants were impressed with him when they interviewed him two years ago. The current ESPN analyst is generally considered one of the bright, young-ish football minds in the game (he's 50). He's also a former director of player personnel for both the Redskins (2005-07) and Eagles (2010-13).
Scott Pioli - He was a real dark horse candidate when Reese was hired in 2008, and there were some in the organization who were pushing for him. That was a long time ago, though, and his time as GM in Kansas City (2009-12) wasn't a great success. The 54-year-old New Yorker was last seen resigning from his job as the Falcons' assistant GM in May.
Rick Smith - At the end of 2017, Smith took a leave of absence from his job as GM of the Houston Texans to be with his wife as she battled cancer. The Texans never replaced him, but some reports have suggested he's not likely to return. Some around the league believe he does want back in to the NFL, though, and he certainly has a good track record. He took over a lost Texans team in 2006 and six years later had them in the playoffs for the first time. He's responsible for the hiring of coach Bill O'Brien and many terrific draft picks, including quarterback DeShaun Watson. Before he left, the Texans had been to the playoffs four times in seven years.
Daniel Jeremiah - If the hiring of Mike Mayock in Oakland opens some floodgates for the TV-to-GM jump, Riddick will probably go first, but Jeremiah may not be too far behind. He was under consideration for a job under Joe Douglas with the Jets. Many thought that job would've been a good stepping stone for the former Ravens, Browns and Eagles scout. Instead, the 42-year-old returned to NFL Network where he remains a very well-respected analyst.
Eliot Wolf - His name was mentioned during the Giants' last search, but he never got an interview. He was mentioned when the Jets hired Douglas too, but that wasn't going to happen since his father - legendary Packers GM Ron Wolf - was part of the search committee that hired Mike Maccagnan. Eliot Wolf is only 37, but at least six teams tried to lure him away from the Packers before the Browns hired him as their assistant GM in 2018. He's going to be a GM soon, it's only a matter of where.
Ed Dodds - Few GMs around the NFL draw as much universal praise as Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard, so when he lured Dodds away from Seattle, everyone took notice. He was part of the front office that turned the Seahawks into Super Bowl champions and perennial contenders, and now is the Colts assistant GM. He could be one of the hottest candidates in this cycle.
Mike Borgonzi - The Kansas City Chiefs have produced a lot of GMs and top executives through the years, and Borgonzi figures to be next in line. He was a finalist to replace John Dorsey as the Chiefs GM last year and was promoted to director of football operations. He's a top scout who had a big hand in putting together a Chiefs team that might win the AFC this year.
George Paton - The Vikings assistant general manager has turned down numerous requests to interview for general manager jobs, including the Jets three times. It's not clear he even wants to leave Minnesota, but if he ever does, he'll be near the top of everyone's list given the amount of talent he's helped bring to the Vikings through the years.