This will be Dave Gettleman’s third season roster since taking over as general manager of the Giants. While most of the first two years were spent on demolishing the locker room he inherited, this 2020 version appears to be the first that is decidedly his own. It’s why he is optimistic about the upcoming season.
“It gives me confidence that we have a quarterback, that we’ve got a heckuva running back,” he said of Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, his first two first-round draft picks with the team. “We’ve got some nice pieces on defense, the O-line we’ve got pieces. We’re getting there, we’re getting there. And I believe we’re going to be competitive.”
What does that mean in terms of wins? Gettleman would not put a number on what he wants to see. Certainly it would be nice to be more than the 4 and 5 that were posted in his first two seasons here. And it goes without saying that while ownership appears to be fully behind new head coach Joe Judge and his long-term plan for success, Gettleman’s position in the organization is a bit more tenuous and in need of results.
He thinks 2020 will provide them.
“We’ve had three years of roster development and we have brought in a number of players that are going to help us, that they’re going to be part of this winning process,” Gettleman said. “Obviously we’ve had a change in coaches and we’ve got a young developing team and I think Joe and his staff are going to develop those players… I just feel like the roster is going to be competitive and it’s going to have the ability to win games.”
One of the elements Gettleman has tried to build with the Giants has been a solid culture, a philosophy that took some lumps this offseason with the arrests of two key players in DeAndre Baker and Aldrick Rosas. Gettleman passed the buck on Rosas, noting that it was the previous regime that brought him to the Giants knowing he had a 2016 arrest for DUI. The Giants cut him this summer after he was charged with three misdemeanors in a hit-and-run accident in California.
As for Baker, the cornerback Gettleman traded up into the first round to draft just a little more than a year ago, the general manager insisted the team had done its homework and saw nothing in Baker’s background that would indicate he was a risk for the kind of trouble he has found himself in facing four felony armed robbery charges and the possibility of life in prison in Florida.
“Obviously it’s disappointing,” Gettleman said. “It’s disappointing on a variety of levels. It hurts us because they’re two talented players as well… Aldrick was a Pro Bowl kicker two years ago, DeAndre was a first-round pick, I know all that. It’s disappointing, but it’s life.”
Baker is on the commissioner’s exempt list, but the Giants may be poised to release him and cut ties altogether.
“We’re still in conversations on that,” Gettleman said. “All I can say to that is in life, there’s timing that’s involved. In life, there’s timing. That’s how I’ll respond to that.”
Notes & quotes
The Giants made a few roster changes as they close in on the deadline to cut down to 53 players this weekend, bringing back last year’s starting center Jon Halapio and adding WR Johnny Holton and LS Carson Tinker. Halapio tore his Achilles in the last game of the 2019 season and will give the Giants flexibility all along the offensive line since two of the players who have taken the most snaps at center this summer, Nick Gates and rookie Tyler Haycraft, are new to the position and more naturally suited for tackle or guard … Thursday is the final practice of the preseason for the Giants and it will be held at MetLife Stadium. Originally billed as a scrimmage, Joe Judge said it would be more of a “situational practice” with live adjustments to downs and distances but not a full game-like experience. It will be the last chance for players on the bubble to earn a spot on the 53-man roster that will be finalized on Saturday.