Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur essentially arrived together two years ago to help rebuild the Giants. But only one of them is getting a chance to see that rebuilding project through.
While Shurmur was fired by the Giants on Monday morning, Gettleman will not suffer the same fate. Despite rampant speculation that he would be fired or step down, the 68-year-old general manager will remain in his position, the Giants announced, and as SNY reported on Sunday.
"Dave Gettleman is our general manager in 2020 and hopefully for many years after that," Giants co-owner John Mara said in a statement. "We believe he is the right person to lead us going forward."
The decision on Gettleman came down to a simple fact, according to a team source: It's almost impossible to judge a general manager in just two seasons. Gettleman has done a good job ridding the Giants of bad contracts and overpaid players, clearing salary cap space, and restocking the team with youth. He also seemingly found the Giants their franchise quarterback of the future in Daniel Jones, which was one of his top goals when he took the job.
Yes, Gettleman shares the same 9-23 record as Shurmur over the last two years, but Giants ownership believes the future is looking brighter, according to the source. Not only do they have Jones and Saquon Barkley to build around, but they also have many promising young players on both sides of the ball. They also could have $90 million in salary cap space to spend this offseason, too.
Of course, there have been some bad moves. He's been criticized for the desperate, four-year, $62 million contract he gave declining left tackle Nate Solder in 2018. He's also taken heat for a hard-to-defend trade of two draft picks (a third and a fifth) for free-agent-to-be Leonard Williams in October. And many outside the organization haven't forgiven him for the Odell Beckham Jr. trade not even a year after signing him to a five-year, $90 million contract.
But Giants ownership didn't waver in its support, even though many believed co-owner Steve Tisch was ready to push for major front office changes.
"Although our record didn't reflect it this season, we believe Dave has assembled a strong nucleus of young players that will help us compete for championships in the future," Tisch said in a statement.
"Dave has a long record of success," Mara added. "We think he's capable of putting a great team together and he's going to get that opportunity. To the extent we need to make changes in personnel or the way we do things, we're going to discuss that."
Gettleman will take the lead in the search for Shurmur's replacement, according to a team source, but as always it will be a group decision with Mara having final say. As SNY reported, Baylor head coach Matt Rhule is expected to be the Giants' leading candidate. The presence of Gettleman is not believed to be something that would scare Rhule away.