Former Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams delivered an ominous message to players on the New York Giants about the team’s new general manager, Dave Gettleman.
As a whole, New York Giants fans have been pleased with the moves that Dave Gettleman has made since taking over as the team’s general manager in late December. But former All-Pro running back DeAngelo Williams says that Big Blue’s veterans shouldn’t be pleased —they should be worried.
— John Healy (@jphealy) January 31, 2018
“He’s your problem now,” Williams said Tuesday on WFAN’s “Boomer and Gio” from radio row in Minneapolis, per John Healy of the New York Daily News. “That’s exactly what I’d tell them. For the vet players that are there now, be very cautious. Once he gets his guys in there, then he develops that relationship with them, and not developing a relationship with the guys that are already there because he doesn’t know them.”
It was Gettleman who, as general manager of the Carolina Panthers, made the decision to cut both Williams and Steve Smith after the 2014 season. In 2015, Carolina went 15-1 en route to a conference championship and, ultimately, a 24-10 loss to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, the franchise’s first appearance in the NFL’s marquee event.
That’s got to sting—and most definitely plays a part in Williams’ dislike and distrust of the man.
“When you’re down in that locker room you are family … If I’m friends with you or I’m a family member of yours, when I call you into the office to release you, I handle it in a family member type way,” Williams said. “Like, ‘Hey, we really appreciate everything you’ve done for this organization, really loved everything you’re doing,’ it’s more like breaking up with your girlfriend, ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’ Whatever excuses you give.
“When you come into an office somebody handling business, ‘Hey man, you’re gone.’ Like, wait, what? … Nine years. I been here for nine years, I played through injuries … I give everything you possibly can for an organization and the way they let you go is ‘Hey man, you’re out of here.’ They let Steve (Smith) go through a text message.”
Without question, Smith’s release could have—and should have—been handled differently. Professionally. Showing him the respect he deserved as the best wide reciever—arguably the best player—in franchise history.
But Williams’ assertion that Gettleman is a “bad guy” because he didn’t sugarcoat his release is ridiculous. Yes, he gave the Panthers his heart and soul for nine years. He played hurt. He played sick.
Now he’s playing the victim—and that’s his problem and his problem alone. Maybe one day he’ll be able to get past this breakup and get on with his life. But whether he does or not, much like his past experiences with Gettleman, have nothing to do with anyone on the Giants’ roster.