Dave Gettleman
(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman did a great job with the New York Giants.

When the New York Mets advanced to the World Series in 2015, general manager Sandy Alderson had assembled an All Star cast of front-office executives.

The same can be said about the New York Giants, who hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy in both 2007 and 2012. Dave Gettleman, who is currently the GM of the Carolina Panthers, was Big Blue’s pro personnel director and Senior pro personnel analyst during those years.

He’ll forever be remembered by Jerry Reese as the one who got away.

Gettleman, a former scout with the Bills, Broncos and Giants, was responsible for Big Blue bringing in guys such as Madison Hedgecock, Shaun O’Hara, Kareem McKenzie, Chris Canty and Domenik Hixon.

A member of New York’s front office from 1999 to 2012, Gettleman was reportedly eying the team’s general manager job in 2006, when Ernie Accorsi stepped down.

“Dave can find players and he’s got a way about him that makes people want to work for him. He’s a much nicer guy than I am,” said Accorsi. “He can lead without making enemies. He was the most loved guy in our building. We used to call him the Mayor. I said, ‘What office are you running for this week?’”

While it’s all theoretically speaking, who knows what could have transpired if he was given the reigns to the team. Would New York have won two Super Bowl’s from 2006 to 2012? Would they have retained Tom Coughlin for as long as they did? What would have happened to Jerry Reese?

The point is that the Giants lost out on a tremendous football mind, when in 2013, he left to become GM of the Carolina Panthers.

Although Carolina had gone two consecutive seasons with a losing record, Gettleman kept Ron Rivera at the helm of the team and assembled an All Pro cast of players who would help the team advance to the playoffs for three consecutive seasons. This year, they’re in the Super Bowl.

“He’s a great human being. A fair human being. I don’t think he gets enough credit for that. He’s an unbelievable person who searches for talent and not just talent, but good morally talent,” Panthers quarterback Cam Newton told the Carolina media.

“Guys that uphold their end of the bargain when they come here and guys that hold people to a standard. He know that in this league you have to produce whether you’re a player, a coach or even a GM. We know that. It starts with him and Coach Rivera and it just trickles on down.”

Popular Giants websites and blogs such as Big Blue View, The Wall Street Journal and even Elite Sports NY all reviewed Reese’s past drafts, pointing out how as the picks got worse, so did the team.

The Giants have seemingly drafted better over the past two years (Odell Beckham Jr, Weston Richburg, Devon Kennard, Cooper Taylor, Ereck Flowers, Landon Collins), so the total effect of Gettleman’s departure isn’t yet clear.

But if the Giants keep losing, one just has to wonder what could have been…

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Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.