new york giants logan ryan
(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

It’s okay to criticize New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, as long as you don’t knock his signing of Logan Ryan.

No, Dave Gettleman hasn’t been a perfect general manager for the New York Giants. Far from it, actually. But criticizing every single decision isn’t the correct move to make nor attitude to employ, considering some free-agent pickups at the hands of the veteran front-office leader have actually panned out on the field.

Logan Ryan stands as one of those beneficial acquisitions, having made an absolute difference within a defense that’s heavily developed in more ways than one.

Judging by how he’s played and what he’s brought to the field, it’s unbelievable he was without a team until late August, when the Giants signed him to a one-year deal worth $7.5 million.

A significantly important quality to possess in the modern-day NFL, especially as a safety, is the ability to portray on-field versatility — something Ryan is doing at superb levels.

At the safety position, it’s not just about your coverage skills, but your will to be a physical asset — coming up on the run and rushing the passer. You need to be the so-called defensive quarterback, a title Ryan has pretty much earned up to this point.

The numbers aren’t going unnoticed.

Through 10 games, Ryan is second on the team (and first among defensive backs) with 59 total tackles and 47 solo tackles. The next-most is 50 combined and 35 solo from strong safety Jabrill Peppers.

His ball skills are additionally making a difference — Ryan has racked up seven passes defended with three forced turnovers (one interception, two forced fumbles). The trio of turnovers is also second on the team; cornerback James Bradberry sits atop the roster with four (three interceptions, one forced fumble).

Fans aren’t ignoring the efforts either.

As of this past Wednesday, Ryan leads all NFC free safeties in regard to the Pro Bowl fan vote. Albeit no actual in-person Pro Bowl due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a chance Ryan earns the prestigious honor for the inaugural time of his career.

Another important on-field trait to possess is trust. You’d prefer to have your coaches want you on the field not just in the big moments, but rather every single moment possible, regardless of size.

There’s no question the Giants possess their fair share of faith in the veteran free safety. Ryan has taken part on 100% of the team’s defensive snaps in six of 10 games, with 97% and 98% of the reps in two other matchups.

He can accomplish so many different things, and the Giants understand that to the fullest extent.

Nonetheless, the moral of this piece isn’t to take an in-depth look at Ryan’s numbers, but instead, laud the fact that he’s been able to do what the organization asked of him back in August.

If you sign a one-year deal worth the amount of money Ryan agreed to, you’re not expected to be a superstar, but rather make a legitimate on-field difference.

Thus far, 10 games into the season, there’s no doubt Ryan is contributing to the overall improvement of the New York defense, a unit that’s in the top half of the league in scoring and top 10 in rushing partly due to the 29-year-old’s efforts.

The organization had a specific request of him with that contract — be a trustable asset while employing notable versatility on the field. Needless to say, he’s been able to deliver.

Can’t knock that, and can’t knock Dave Gettleman for jumping on this opportunity back in the summer.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.