I can’t remember a time that I was less excited for the NFL season to begin. In fact, I’d really prefer it didn’t.
Let’s get one thing straight: The New York Giants are going to be bad this year. I mean, really bad. Talent-wise, they’re easily a bottom-three team in the NFL. If they win four games, I’ll be surprised. If I watch four games, I’ll be even more surprised.
Before you accuse me of being a fair-weather fan, I’m not putting my fandom on hold simply because the team is awful. When the Nets, my NBA rooting interest, went through years of cellar-dwelling, I never stopped watching.
If it was a natural time for the Giants to rebuild, I’d accept the losing. And to be fair, when a franchise quarterback is nearing the end of his career, that’s typically when a team launches into rebuild mode. But to look solely at the Giant’s quarterback situation is misleading.
Prior to the utter cataclysmic catastrophe that was the Giants’ offseason, Eli Manning was surrounded by one of the best young cores in football. Saquon Barkley is basically already a Hall of Famer. Odell Beckham Jr. is a top-three wideout in the league. Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram both have star potential. Now, much of that core is gone, and we can throw the rest away.
If this offseason proved anything, it’s that general manager Dave Gettleman doesn’t know what he’s doing, plain and simple. By the time he left his previous gig in Carolina, he was universally hated by the players and fans alike. Not even two years later in New York, he’s already achieved the same feat.
The Paul Pierce-KG trade aside, I have never been more absolutely bewildered and devastated as I was by the Odell trade. Beckham is not, and never has been, a distraction. He’s well-liked in locker rooms, he’s entertaining as hell and, antics aside, he’s capable of completely transforming a game in a single play. Not to mention that OBJ just finished signing a lucrative five-year deal, leaving the Giants with $16 million in dead money.
To trade him, without getting much of anything in return after resigning him, is inexplicable. It’s buying into the media’s perception of player without recognizing the value that he actually brings to the team. It’s proof that Gettleman is so far removed from the locker room and from his personnel that he’s simply not capable of running a franchise.
Just look at the Landon Collins situation. Gettleman decided to let the three-time Pro Bowler walk this offseason. I’ll admit, Collins did not have his best season last year. But he’s still a top-tier safety, and perhaps an even better unifier and leader.
In July, Collins said that he’d love to “run over” Gettleman on the sideline when the Giants face Washington. He later clarified the comment was made in jest, but clearly the resentment is there. Before Gettleman arrived, Collins was as big of a Big Blue spokesman as there was on the team. What changed?
And then, of course, there’s the Daniel Jones draft pick. If not for the Odell trade, I frankly wouldn’t even mind the pick. I’d be shocked and disappointed sure, but not as outraged as some fans were after the pick. After all, I’m still not completely sold on Dwayne Haskins, and Jones has impressed in the preseason (which, of course, is the preseason). But if Jones was the plan all along, why not trade down?
And that’s just one of many questions that we’ll never know the answer to. I liked and still like the Barkley pick, but only if you keep Odell and remain in win-now mode. Why draft a running back if you’re going to launch into a rebuild the next year? Why sign a receiver to a massive contract and repeatedly assert that he won’t be traded, only to trade him weeks later? Why, Dave Gettleman, have you made it your mission to destroy the hopes and dreams of every Giants fan?
While we futilely await those answers, we get to watch a team run its most valuable asset into the ground, wasting away his best years while ruining the image of a class-act, Super Bowl MVP quarterback, all while a rookie whose confidence has already been crushed waits in the rafters to take over a team with absolutely zero future prospects.
Gettleman is lost, and the Giants are lost with him.
Andrew Morrison is the sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org