New York Daily News beat writer Pat Leonard just dropped an article’s worth of New York Giants knowledge into a single Twitter thread, reporting on Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, and questions surrounding the Giants’ quarterback situation when Eli Manning finally hangs up the cleats.
Given the wide range of topics, one tweet in particular will likely draw the biggest response from Giants fans.
Gettleman: “This narrative that Eli’s overpaid and can’t play is a crock.” And then this to knock me off my chair to end the call: “With the way we ended the season, and what he’s making, there really wasn’t a decision to make.” (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) #Giants
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) March 18, 2019
That’s right… Dave Gettleman, a man who is paid genuine United States dollars to make major personnel decisions affecting a professional football team, believes that a 38-year-old quarterback whose team has gone a combined 8-24 in the past two seasons and who, between his 2019 base salary and the $5 million roster bonus he collected Monday, is fairly compensated.
“This narrative Eli is overpaid and can’t play is a crock,” Gettleman told reporters Monday during a teleconference, according to NFL.com. “I’m telling you. So at the end of the day you guys got to say Gentleman’s out of his mind, or he knows what he’s talking about when he evaluates players. That’s really what it is. That’s really where it’s at.
“And I’m OK if you disagree with me, that’s fine. But what I’m telling you is, if you turn around and look at what he’s making right now and look around the league and see what quarterbacks are making, alright, if you were in my shoes you’d say, you know what, there really is not, the way he finished the season and what he’s making, there really wasn’t a decision to make.”
Granted, you can’t blame Manning for his up-and-down performance in 2018.
Behind an offensive line that couldn’t stop a pee-wee league team’s D-line from getting into the backfield, Manning was sacked 47 times.
In addition, with Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley available to take pressure off the passing game, Manning actually posted a somewhat respectable (for a guy on a bad team throwing behind a tissue paper screen of an O-line) 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and 92.4 passer rating.
But at the same time, Gettleman is the guy who exhibited a distinct lack of understanding of positional scarcity and drafted a running back second overall in the deepest quarterback draft in a long while, unwilling to plan for a future when Manning is no longer under center.
Gettleman was content instead to throw his entire team under the bus.
“At the end of the day, when you blow the whistle, 11 guys got to go out there, OK?” he said. “I’ve done that study. And on offense you got to have a quarterback around. OK?
“And again, I said it in Indianapolis and I’ll say it again, you turn around and take a look at what happened last year, once we got that O-line fixed — it looked better, we’re going to continue working on that — and look at what we did the second half of the year on offense.”
“In Indianapolis” refers to the startling comeback season of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck who led the team to a 10-6 record and a playoff appearance behind improved offensive line play.
Even if Gettleman can improve that line, there are still some glaring issues with the team.
How Manning is supposed to have a strong season when his best receiving target in Beckham is now a member of the Cleveland Browns, Gettleman didn’t say.
Speaking of Beckham, Gettleman is still under fire for letting the embattled pass-catcher get away, but Gettleman framed it as a business decision, and the rumor mill has been abuzz for years now that Beckham wanted out of New York.
“So, the obvious question is why,” Gettleman said. “That’s the question everybody asks. And after much discussion we just believed this was in the best interest of the New York Football Giants. I want everybody to know this was purely a football business decision. There’s no intrigue, there’s no he said, she said, none of that stuff.
“Odell is a tremendous talent, making him a valuable asset. … With football being the ultimate team game, we turned that fact into three assets at the very least. Some have questioned why we signed Odell and then traded him. As I said publicly twice, we didn’t sign him to trade him, but obviously things changed and frankly what changed is, the other team made an offer we couldn’t refuse. And as it turned out the fact that he was signed for five more years made him very attractive and enabled us to get legitimate value.”
The Giants have the sixth and 17th overall picks in the upcoming draft, and with 2019 a weak year for college quarterback talent, Gettleman may very well invest in offensive line talent to help Manning.
But at some point they’re going to need a quarterback, and any confidence the fans may have had that the GM would get them their man evaporated when the Giants drafted Barkley in 2018.
And in the meantime, Eli Manning will carry a $23.2 million cap number, per Spotrac, because the guy whose job it is to manage personnel thinks that’s a fair price for a 38-year-old whose best days are clearly behind him.
Look on the bright side, Giants fans. At least the pizza’s great on game day in New York.
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