dave gettleman joe judge
Syndication: The Record

Let’s discuss the fallout of the Gettleman-Judge era, shall we?

Rejoice, Giants fans!

Former general manager Dave Gettlemanretired” (yes, we’re putting it in quotes) Monday prior to the organization’s Tuesday firing of head coach Joe Judge. After two years, the Gettleman-Judge era has concluded.

It’s a “goodbye and good riddance” type of scenario for the majority of this fanbase. Plenty of individuals across the Tri-State Area are surely wearing beautiful smiles on their faces right about now.

Gettleman solidified himself as one of the worst general managers in the history of the franchise and negatively affected his own legacy, finishing an abysmal 19-46 with New York.

Judge’s hiring additionally turned out to be a mistake from the get-go. The 40-year-old went 10-23 after taking the job ahead of the 2020 season.

You could argue (I certainly will) that the last half-decade has been the worst era in the history of this franchise — Gettleman and Judge have definitely been notable components of this putrid period of Giants football.

So…what in the world actually happened? What led to the fallout of the Gettleman-Judge marriage that was wrongly constructed just two years ago?

Offensive issues

This offense was unwatchable at various times over the course of the last two years.

And no, I’m not exaggerating. It was actually healthier if you watched literally anything else on television.

While that could’ve been chalked up to conservative play-calling from former Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and his (temporary) replacement, Freddie Kitchens, Judge is at fault for overseeing the failed operation while Gettleman should earn a great chunk of the blame due to various roster-building mistakes.

Judge was the one who enabled Garrett for so long and kept providing him with the play-calling duties even after the Giants were 31st in both scoring and total offense in 2020.

Yes — 31st!

It’s amazing to me that a guy can be the second-worst in the NFL at what he does and the organization could still want him to return the following year. Imagine if I was the second-worst NFL writer out of all the people who get paid to do this — do you think I’d still be given the platform that I currently possess to express my thoughts on this team? The answer is no.

Gettleman, on the other hand, was the one who drafted a running back at No. 2 overall instead of a quarterback — remember that?

Gettleman was the one who drafted Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall prior to Jones’ issues with turnovers, consistency, and health — do you also remember that?

Gettleman was the one who only took five offensive linemen across four different drafts despite that unit requiring a significant overhaul. He was also the one who only took six offensive skill players across those four drafts even though the Giants have ranked as a bottom-half offense in terms of yardage for years.

DG and Judge needed to answer for various mistakes — neither will have to now. A true shame indeed.

Free agency mistakes

Don’t even get the fanbase started on some of the overpays, mismanagement of players, and overwhelming blunders in free agency.

Gettleman paid receiver Kenny Golladay a four-year, $72 million contract in order to improve the offense.

And guess what? You likely scored just as many touchdowns as the wideout did during the 2021 campaign.

Gettleman also gave a two-year, $12 million contract to an aging tight end in Kyle Rudolph, paid Adoree’ Jackson a $13 million average annual salary, and didn’t extend former Giants defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson after the 2019 season before letting him walk following the 2020 campaign.

Oh, and remember when Gettleman made Nate Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman in the league (at the time)? And remember when he replaced Colt McCoy with Mike Glennon for the backup quarterback role even though the former won a game out in Seattle in 2020?

We could go on and on and on when it comes to this category of errors.

Draft mistakes

I went more in-depth on this earlier in the week — you can check it out by clicking here.

But just to summarize…

Gettleman essentially ignored the offensive line for many of the drafts he was in charge of and only drafted five offensive linemen as Giants GM.

Combine that with just six draft picks utilized on offensive skill players during that same time frame and you have a general manager that didn’t seem to have any desire to fix an issue-filled offense. You need to build through the draft, especially when you’re a struggling franchise that hasn’t been in the position to pay many guys big money in free agency.

Oh, and there was also that time Gettleman drafted a running back at No. 2 overall! When Eli Manning was aging and seemingly on his way out! In a quarterback-heavy 2018 draft! I will never get over that!

Avoiding the big move

The era of patience and tradition in the NFL is over. Teams must make the big move when they can.

The Cardinals dumped Josh Rosen after a year and went with Kyler Murray, didn’t they? And now, Rosen is a backup at best while Murray and the Cardinals are in the postseason.

One of the instances in which Gettleman decided not to make the big move was when there were reports Aaron Rodgers wanted out of Green Bay back in April 2021. When asked about it, Gettleman responded that the situation was none of his business and that the team believed in Daniel Jones.

So instead of pulling the trigger and pursuing a surefire future Hall of Famer who is arguably the most talented quarterback of all time, you continue to roll the dice with an inconsistent, injury-prone, turnover-prone Jones? Just because you had drafted him with the No. 6 overall pick two years prior?

I wasn’t a big fan of Gettleman’s response there. An upgrade at quarterback was needed, and when an opportunity comes knocking, you need to be aggressive.

Conservative Judge

When Joe Judge took the podium at his introductory press conference two years ago, you would’ve thought the Giants were entering a new era full of on-field aggression and urgency.

Reality proved otherwise, however.

The now-former head coach caught constant backlash for his decisions to punt in opponent territory, even late in the season when the team was far from a .500 record.

Oh, and there was also that time against Washington (literally just a few days ago) when the team decided to run a quarterback sneak on 3rd-and-9 deep in its own territory to gain room for a punt — one of the more puzzling moves any of us have ever witnessed.

Judge was way too conservative for this market and these fans. Aggression pays off in the modern-day NFL, and it seemed Judge never fully grasped that concept while on the Big Blue sidelines.

Moving forward

Co-owner John Mara cannot screw this up.

Hire a general manager that actually understands the modern-day version of this league and let that GM pick his own head coach.

Allow the right general manager to guide the organization back to its winning ways, trust the GM’s instincts, and realize patience cannot be implemented, because that’s what has led to ineptitude and irrelevancy for the franchise.

Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY

Listen to ESNY’s Wide Right Podcast on Apple here or on Spotify here.

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