The buzz surrounding Giants GM Dave Gettleman got loud again on Sunday with NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport’s report stating with confidence that Gettleman will not return next season as GM.
So, let’s look at three of the possibilities.
With the Giants fans still buzzing about the firing of Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett, gasoline was poured on that fire Saturday with talk of Joe Judge wanting to fire Garrett a year ago in November of 2020. Then Ian Rappaport pens an article Sunday saying Dave Gettleman will be allowed to retire after this season.
Instantly speculation ran rampant about possibilities. That also opens the door for Joe Judge to influence who the next GM for the Giants will be. But has that hire already happened?
Before we look inside the Giants organization, let’s look outside for candidates the Mara/Tisch owners might consider. Mind you; they have difficulty looking too far away from the Giants’ family tree for people. They did take a chance on Joe Judge…no direct roots to the Giants, but a very high recommendation from Bill Belichick.
So, who has connections to Joe Judge who can work with to continue this build of a championship-caliber team?
Matt Miller, NFL Scout, put together a list today and posted it on Twitter. High on the list is a Bill Belichick personnel guy from his early Cleveland Browns days. Scott Pioli is a former Patriots front office man from 2000-2009 with four Super Bowl appearances (three wins) in his tenure. He then was the GM of the Chiefs and finally moved to the Falcons. Pioli has a solid history of successful personnel decisions at all organizations. And the word is, he wants back into the game.
Kevin Abrams has 23 years inside the Giants organization and has worked as an assistant to the last three Giants GMs. He is an astute contract negotiator. But is he the right fit to work with Joe Judge and finish the build of this roster? I don’t think so. As a result of Gettleman’s and Abram’s efforts, the Giants are in Cap hell for the rest of 2021 and into 2022.
They have converted all significant contracts this year to gain any Cap space they could. This essentially kicked the can down the road. This will handcuff the Giants over the next 2-3 years.
But let’s look at another subtle move the Giants made back in March of this year. Quietly, the Giants hired Kyle O’Brien, fresh from his stint as vice president of player personnel with the Detroit Lions. On the surface, hiring O’Brien before signing WR Kenny Golladay might look like a connection. But here’s the link to Judge. O’Brien was with the Patriots from 2002-2011. If Bill Belichick promotes you, you are a top candidate.
Kyle O’Brien worked with Matt Patricia at Detroit, has 19 years of NFL player personnel experience, and has spent the last eight months evaluating the Giants roster. Is O’Brien ready to take over as GM? No one knows. But he has the inside track, has a connection to Joe Judge through the Patriots, and has the endorsement of Bill Belichick.
Let’s add another piece to this puzzle: step back to the earlier news that Joe Judge considered firing Jason Garrett in November of 2020. Was that decision intercepted by Mara or Gettleman? Garrett’s previous ties to the Giants as a backup QB held firm with the sentimental Mara. Garrett was not Judge’s first choice as offensive coordinator, and Judge was allowed to bring Freddie Kitchens in as a critical offensive mind.
If Judge was told to stand down and not fire Garrett back then, maybe he was offered a bargaining chip to bring in his own people as part of that negotiation. Was O’Brien a Joe Judge hire?
I can see a scenario where Judge and O’Brien team up to move the Giants to the next level. If Dave Gettleman does retire after this season, he has had plenty of time to hand things off to O’Brien.
This also is a compromise solution John Mara can approve with O’Brien being in the Giants organization for nearly a year.
Speculation and rumors are wonderful, aren’t they?
Featured Image: Detroit Lions