Dave Gettleman’s New York Giants tenure has included a few questionable moves. Here are three that backfired on the general manager.
It’s fair to say Dave Gettleman‘s first two seasons with the New York Giants have been a disappointment. As general manager, he’s made a series of questionable moves that end up backfiring in the long run. The latest incident involves cornerback DeAndre Baker and an off-the-field issue.
In addition to Baker, Gettleman has had his fair share of misses in the draft, free agency, and on the trade market. Ironically enough, the move he caught the most flack for—the Odell Beckham Jr. trade—was one of the best moves he’s made as GM.
A large and vocal portion of the fanbase was up in arms at the time, but that trade hasn’t backfired and it probably won’t. Jabrill Peppers only played in 11 games last season, but he looked the part of a versatile safety when he was on the field. Kevin Zeitler started at guard in 15 games. And the two draft picks—Dexter Lawrence and Oshane Ximines—showed promise during their rookie seasons.
Meanwhile, Beckham, Baker Mayfield, and the overhyped Cleveland Browns were a whirlwind of disappointment, finishing with a 6-10 record. And of course, all the normal Beckham drama of unhappiness with his role and trade rumors followed.
No, the Beckham trade was not a bad decision by Gettleman, but here are the three of his worst move as Giants GM.
3. Signing Jonathan Stewart
This was a bizarre move given the fact that Jonathan Stewart was on the wrong side of 30 and the Giants had their sights set on Saquon Barkley in the draft. The aging running back wasn’t able to stay healthy and thus, couldn’t serve as a dependable No. 2 for Barkley.
Stewart only appeared in three games for the Giants and racked up 17 yards on the ground. The long-time Carolina Panther was on the downswing when New York signed him, but there was no resurgence in New York.
2. Trading up for DeAndre Baker
Gettleman and the Giants were busy on day one of the 2019 NFL Draft. After shocking the world by taking Daniel Jones at No. 6, the Giants took Dexter Lawrence with Cleveland’s No. 17 choice. That was it. Big Blue’s night was done.
Until it wasn’t.
In an aggressive move to nab a lockdown corner, Gettleman traded back up into the first round to take DeAndre Baker 30th overall. New York gave up picks in the second (37), fourth (132), and fifth (142) to take the cornerback out of Georgia with character concerns.
Giants select CB DeAndre Baker with pick No. 30. Some considered him the top corner in the draft but he likely lasted this long because some teams had concerns about his character.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) April 26, 2019
As of Friday morning, there is a warrant out for Baker’s arrest in Miramar, FL for armed robbery. The alleged incident took place on Wednesday, May 13.
Every team talks about establishing a culture and bringing in high-character players. This is a bad look for Gettleman and it’s hard to envision Baker ever suiting up for the Giants again.
1. Trading for Leonard Williams
The Leonard Williams trade was very bizarre. First of all, trades between the Giants and their MetLife Stadium co-tenants, the New York Jets, are always going to grab headlines.
After a promising start to Williams’ career in green, he came back down to earth during his third and fourth seasons. He never developed into a pass-rushing threat like the Jets had hoped for and he was unable to beat double teams on the inside.
Williams is a solid defensive lineman, but not a gamechanger. He was set to become a free agent in 2020 and it was unlikely the Jets were going to give him the kind of money he wanted.
Rather than waiting for Williams to hit the open market, Gettleman parted with two picks for the hog-mollie—a 2021 fifth-rounder and a third-round pick that turned into Ashtyn Davis.
In seven games with the Giants, Williams notched five quarterback hits and 20 tackles but failed to record a single sack or tackle for a loss.
Presumably, Gettleman traded away two draft picks with the hopes of signing Williams to a long-term deal. For the time being, Williams is signed to the franchise tag, but he’s filing a grievance with the NFL to be classified as a defensive end, not a defensive tackle. Defensive ends stand to make more on the franchise tag.
The lackluster production and unstable contract situation are two major reasons why the Leonard Williams trade looks like a dud.