Dave Gettleman was introduced as the New York Giants’ fourth general manager Friday. He quickly established himself as cut from a different cloth than his predecessor, Jerry Reese, when asked about his immediate plans for the team.
“My plan is to come in here every day and kick ass,” Gettleman said.
Gettleman, who worked in the Giants’ pro personnel department from 1998-2012 before spending four seasons as the Carolina Panthers’ general manager, introduced himself to the New York media with a point-blank mission statement.
“I don’t want guys that want to win,” Gettleman said. “I want guys that hate to lose…it’s my responsibility to protect this franchise. That’s my job. I will make the tough decisions and I will stand by it. And we’ll see what happens.
“I’ve been hired to win. The only promise I can make is I’m going to do everything in my power to lead this organization back to where it belongs. That’s my goal. That’s my intention. It’s going to get done. So, just hang in there with us and we’re going to get it fixed.”
Gettleman is inheriting a 2-13 Giants team that was in the playoffs just a season ago with an 11-5 record. The 13 losses are the most in franchise history with a game remaining on the schedule. There’s been in-fighting, player suspensions, and an overall lack of cohesiveness that made its way on to the playing field.
Gettleman’s first task will be to find a head coach. He will not have the final say in naming Ben McAdoo’s successor, that will come from co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch. Gettleman will have significant input on the decision however. The Giants are expected to send out consent forms on Monday for permission to interview coaches employed by other NFL teams.
He will also spend a great deal of time watching tape and evaluating the roster.
“There are some very good players on this team,” Gettleman said. “It’s not crash and burn. It’s not torch the whole place and dump 63 and bring another new 63 in.”
Gettleman is known for his stance with players, especially during contract negotiations. During his Panthers tenure, he jettisoned veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. and running back DeAngelo Williams. He also removed cornerback Josh Norman’s franchise tag, paving the way for his free agent signing with the Washington Redskins.
Gettleman was fired by the Panthers in the offseason, in part, because of impending contract negotiations with linebacker Thomas Davis and tight end Greg Olsen, two favorites of Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. The subject did come up during the press conference. Gettleman was very diplomatic.
“As far as what happened there, give Mr. Richardson a call,” Gettleman said.
Gettleman’s negotiating prowess will be tested when it comes to the Giants’ best player: wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants picked up his 2018 fifth year option at $8.4 million. Beckham later said he wants to be the highest paid player in the NFL (Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford currently holds that distinct with his five-year, $135 million deal). Mara said Beckham’s payday will come, he just needs to be patient. This was, of course, before Beckham did his best urinating dog impersonation in Philadelphia.
“No. 1, who doesn’t want a lot of money?” Gettleman said when the subject of contract negotiations with Beckham was brought up. “Anybody in here not want a lot of money? I don’t know Odell. I’m looking forward to it. Obviously, he’s an extremely talented kid and makes stuff happen.”
He then explained his stance when it comes to contract negotiations
“It’s what players don’t want to hear. They don’t want to hear the value you put on them because it hurts their feelings. They are sad. This is a big boy league. You got to put your big boy pants on now. Nobody feels sorry for you. Nobody cares about your injuries. Nobody cares what you make, what you don’t make. So, I’ve learned that you have to be consistent, you got to be fair, and if the player is upset, so be it. So be it.”
Mara is expecting immediate results with Gettleman’s hire.
“I expect us to be a good team in 2018,” Mara said. “Going from last to first or first to last – teams do that every year. We do have some talent on this roster. We obviously have a lot of holes to fill as well. I don’t see why we can’t have a successful team next year.”