Letting Dave Gettleman stay for a few extra weeks so he could save face with “retirement” was not the Giants’ fault.
Allowing the failed CEO to remain in charge for two years too long was the mistake.
Giants co-owner John Mara explained on Wednesday why Gettleman was allowed to retire at the end of the season, even though it became inevitable by mid-season that he would not be retained in 2022. NFL rules prohibit managers hired by a team from interviewing in the regular season for another team’s vacancy as general manager, so the Giants could only have gotten a kickstart with internal or independent candidates.
“Honestly, our top candidates are people who are all employed right now, so that really would not have given us any benefit,” Mara said. “I did not see any need to do it before [Monday] when he announced his retirement. “
Giants assistant general manager Kevin Abrams and former NFL executives Louis Riddick and Scott Pioli – both working as television analysts – did not make the list of nine scheduled interviews.
“All I can tell you is, based on the number of inquiries I’ve had from potential candidates, we’ll not be able to interview even 20 percent of them all,” Mara said. “This is a very desirable job.”
Many NFL sources have in conversations with The Post questioned the hypocrisy of letting Gettleman retire with a record of 19-46 after firing Super Bowl-winning general manager Jerry Reese and two head coaches whose tenure was marred by Gettlemans personal accident.
Unlike the others, Gettleman, 70, was on his last NFL stop. Gettleman was also part of a golden era as the Giants’ director of pro personnel from 1999-2011, though the same could be said of Reese, who was fired along with coach Ben McAdoo in the wake of Eli Manning’s forged benching in 2017. Only Gettleman took pictures with his family on the field on one last game day.
The Giants retained Gettleman while firing Pat Shurmur after the 2019 season and again in 2020, despite Mara’s admission that miscalculations made in 2018 under Gettleman had created a setback for several years. Asked if he regretted not making a GM change earlier in Gettleman’s tenure, Mara avoided the question in a final respect.
“I thought at the end of last season – we finished 5-3 – the arrow pointed up,” Mara said of the strong finish of eight games to a 6-10 season. “I thought we were moving in the right direction. I thought the communication at that end of the building was good. And for whatever reason it went wrong this year. We reached a point where I just think we need to press reset button and get a fresh start. “
Now the Giants are left to hire a successor with a job ad that reads: Lack of offensive linemen and pass-rushers, uncertainty at quarterback and the need to close the expensive gaps while in hell with a salary cap (2 million dollars over the limit for 2022, according to spotrac.com). The Giants’ biggest selling point is the NFL’s second-best 2022 draft capital, including No. 5 and No. 7 first-round picks.
“I think it’s an organization that people want to work for, so I’ve been encouraged that so many people have expressed interest, including people who are very talented and who have a legitimate chance to get the job.” said Mara. “We have not been rejected by anyone yet.”
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