New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman hasn’t made many friends with how he’s handled player exits in the past.
The end of a player’s tenure with a franchise is never easy territory to navigate. It’s rarely done by the player’s decision. Usually, either the team feels that the player can’t play at the level they need, or they don’t want to pay the player what they feel that they’re worth.
However, this difficult situation can be handled in a way that minimizes lingering bad feelings, usually by honest and open communication from the front office. That’s an area that New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman struggles with, according to some of his former players.
Gettleman has spoken about trying to give dignity to the players, but not all his former players agree with him according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com. One notable player who told Slater they feel that way is Landon Collins, who has been outspoken about how he feels about the way he was let go.
Collins did not hold back at all when asked about his former boss.
“No dignity at all,” Collins said. “I didn’t know what was going on. He’s a liar. He lied to everybody. So that’s a man I do not trust. I would hope nobody else would, too.”
Collins was particularly bothered by the fact that there was no communication from Gettleman towards him or his representatives. He understands that it’s a business but felt very slighted that Gettleman kept him in the dark about whether he’d be back or not.
“I never talked to Dave. Never talked to him. It sat with me bad. Just talk to somebody. Let us know something. If you’re going to trade me, trade me. If you’re going to let me go, let me go. Whatever. Don’t have a decision out of blue like that, for me to do this much for that organization before he got there.”
This is an issue that goes back to Gettleman’s days with the Carolina Panthers. In fact, Collins’s current teammate Josh Norman had his own experience and had a strong reaction when asked if he felt he’d been treated with dignity.
“When you look at that, it’s full of [expletive]. And that’s what I feel about the situation and him. If you really want to be honest, every time I see him, I really want to, like, smash their face in the grass. That’s how I really feel about it.”
Norman’s issue was also a lack of communication from Gettleman. Players understand that it’s a business and that the general manager needs to do what’s best for the team, but they also feel that, as an adult, Gettleman should have a face-to-face conversation with them about it.
“He did it without even talking to anyone. I wish we had a conversation or something. But no. How is that respect and dignity? He’s full of [expletive]. I mean, you know that, right? How is it dignity when you find out through the news? Is that dignity? Is that his way of calling that dignity?”
“That’s the type of guy he is. It’s nowhere near giving somebody dignity when you do something like that. That’s B.S. Do you think that’s giving someone dignity? If the guy was doing his job the right way, I feel like we probably would still be in there and we would’ve won a championship or something by now.”
Gettleman’s handling of exits is back in the spotlight because the team has benched Eli Manning for sixth overall pick Daniel Jones. While all decisions are emotional for the players involved, the benching of a long-time franchise icon is an emotional moment for fans too.
If Manning joins the chorus of players who state how they were disrespected by Gettleman, it will just add fodder to Gettleman’s already somewhat poor reputation for handling sensitive issues with players.