By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The New York Giants are 5-8 with only three more games to play in the 2020 season and there has been an ongoing debate among the media and Giant fans on the fate of current GM Dave Gettleman’s job security for 2021. As a supporter of Gettleman, the consensus is evenly split on whether he should remain or be let go as the Giants GM. I believe the decision will solely be made by Dave Gettleman himself as questions of his health and age (69) are the two main factors and I’ve got a sneaky suspension that Dave Gettleman is going to retire after the season. There’s no rumor or inside information on this, but something is telling me that this is a strong possibility. The million dollar question will be if Gettleman does decide to retire “who will the Giants hire as Gettleman’s replacement? Another question which is equally important is “will Head Coach Joe Judge have a lot of input of who the Giants hire”? The Giants ownership is old school and historically likes to keep it in the family when hiring a GM as evident over the last three GM’s (Accorsi, Reese and now Gettleman). Many football experts and fans believe it’s time to think outside the box and hire from outside the organization for a different philosophy and perhaps a younger GM. For me, whether it’s within the organization or outside; I just want them to make the right choice. A few months back I projected that Kevin Abrams (Assistant GM of the Giants) would be Gettlemans successor; which was based on the Giants ownership’s history. Although I still believe the Giants brass could still lean in that direction, I wanted to add some names to the list that the Giants should really explore and keep an open mind. Here are my top 10 candidates (in no particular order-along with an X-factor candidate) who could be the next New York Giants GM If Gettleman decides to retire:
- Nick Caserio, Patriots director of player personnel: Caserio is a hot name circulating among GM candidates and should get his fair share of calls this off season. If the Giants want to emulate the Patriots way with Judge already in place; then adding Caserio would make sense and possibly get the Giants on the right track. The Patriots have already been able to keep Caserio from leaving in the past, but this seems like the right time to let him go; especially if it’s the Giants as Belichick will definitely give him a strong endorsement.
- George Paton, Vikings assistant GM: Paton’s name has come up before as a GM over the past off seasons and he could finally land a GM role for 2021. In the past Paton has been reluctant from moving on in Minnesota and there’s always a possibility that this trend could continue; but it wouldn’t hurt to give him a call.
- Ed Dodds/Colts Assistant GM: Dodds was a major contributor when he was with the Seahawks serving under Seattle’s GM John Schneider. Dodds been with the Colts now for four seasons and continues to be a major asset in building Indianapolis roster. Dodds certainly has a solid and proven resume to be a GM consideration; but would the Giants brass view him that way?
- Will McClay, Cowboys vice president of player personnel: McClay has been behind the scenes for the Cowboys and although owner Jerry Jones gets most of the credit in past draft picks, McClay’s has been a big influence in the final decisions. McClay has all the credentials to get the opportunity to be a GM, but has yet to make the move; perhaps Jerry Jones doesn’t want to lose his secret weapon.
- Adam Peters, 49ers vice president of player personnel: Peters is GM John Lynch right hand man and has been involved in all the decision making moves since 2017. Peters is very similar to McClay in terms of their body of work and should be a strong candidate for any open GM vacancies this off season. Once again; will the Giants ownership allow him to enter the Giants family circle?
- Joe Hortiz, Ravens director of player personnel: Hortiz learned under one of the best GM’s in my opinion in Ozzie Newsome who pulled off a late 1st round trade in his final season as GM to acquire Quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Giants really should at the very least give him a call and if interested; grant him an interview.
- Scott Fitterer, Seahawks vice president of football operations: Fitterer handles all of college scouting for the Seahawks and was a big catalyst of many of the draft picks in recent years for Seattle. Fitterers’ strong resume as a draft guru would be a vital selling point for a team like the Giants looking to rebuild through the draft
- Mike Borgonzi, Chiefs director of football operations: Borgonzi is learning from one of the best Head Coaches and GM’s in Andy Reid and Brett Veach. The Giants would be foolish not to make a call and see the availability of Borgonzi to see if there’s mutual interest.
- Louis Riddick, ESPN Analyst: Riddick interviewed for the GM position back in 2018 and was reported as being one of the top 3 candidates along with Gettleman and Abrams. Riddick has front office experience as part of Washington and Philadelphia’s scouting and director of player personnel. Riddick nearly became the 49ers GM, but was edged out by current GM John Lynch. I expect the Giants will give Riddick another call to see if there’s still interest.
- Kevin Abrams, Giants assistant GM: You didn’t think I would have a list of GM candidates without including the only one currently a Giant in Kevin Abrams. The Giants interviewed Abrams back in 2018, before deciding on Gettleman. Abrams strength is his contract negotiations and his salary cap management. However; in terms of evaluating talent; Abrams doesn’t at least on paper have a strong resume in that department like the others mentioned. However; Abrams biggest advantage is he’s already in the Giants family circle and make no mistake; that’s a biggie.
X-Factor Candidate: Bill Belichick, Patriots Head Coach: I can dream can’t I as the Giants/Belchick’s relationship has always been one of fond memories for him as he has often spoke highly of them. Belichick has a lifetime winning percentage of 62.8% and more impressively he has a playoff winning percentage of 68.25%. It’s unclear what Belichick’s current contract is with New England as it appears that Patriots owner Robert Kraft has given Belichick a carte blanch as to when he would leave the organization or not. Would Belichick consider a reunion with the Giants if he was to leave the Patriots? Most likely. Would there be interest from the Giants if Belichick was available? Highly plausible. This could be a “to be continue” discussion if or when Belichick makes his decision. In the meantime, we can all dream.
Final Thoughts: There are quite a few solid names on this list and to be perfectly honest, the Giants would not go wrong with most of these candidates. The big question is: which one is the best choice? Not only with their personal achievements, but also how well they will fit into the Giants way and more importantly how well will they work with Head Coach Joe Judge, because he is not going anywhere? The Giants GM role at one time only had three GM’s over the span of 38 years with George Young (1979-97) Ernie Accorsi (1998-06) and Jerry Reese (2007-17). If the Giants are forced to look for a new GM should Gettleman retire; perhaps the Giants ownership of John Mara and Steve Tisch will be more open-minded and consider other options strongly outside the organization. One last tidbit: will Mara and Tisch once again lean on former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi to assist in the interviewing process as he did back in 2018. Accorsi’s opinion is still valued highly by Mara and Tisch and was the main reason Gettleman got the position.