When a prime opportunity arises for a contingency plan at the sport's most important position, Parcells explained, the organization must take advantage.
Asked Thursday if he feels a need to use the draft's No. 2 overall pick on a successor for his 37-year-old signal-caller, Gettleman labeled the idea "hogwash."
"You miss on a quarterback, you've really hurt the franchise for five years," Gettleman added. "It's a five-year mistake."
Over the years, we've been taught to distrust everything we see and hear during the NFL Draft's smokescreen season. Gettleman can disarm reporters with the claim that he hasn't lied since he got caught numerous times as a child, but that doesn't mean he's telegraphing his plans.
"With the second pick," Gettleman quipped, "I'm sitting at Ben and Jerry's and I have a lot of different flavors to look at."
A week before the draft, he's perched in the proverbial catbird seat with plenty of intrigue but no firm idea of his intentions.
"Like it? I love it," Gettleman beamed. "You kidding me?"
The Giants are this draft's great mystery. Will they choose Barkley with the intention of breathing life into Manning's stalled career? Will they opt for Chubb to rebuild a once-dominant defense? Or is Gettleman playing coy at quarterback, waiting to pounce if his man slips past Cleveland?
"You can't close your mind," Gettleman emphasized. "You don't know what's going to happen. Listen, we'll know when we know. I'm not making any decisions before that."
Who can quibble with that approach? So much can happen in the next seven days. The quarterback-needy Bills or another club could knock his socks off with an overwhelming trade offer, rendering his war-room plans obsolete.
Gettleman isn't lying about his team's draft strategy. With a straight face, he can point out the dire consequences of swinging and missing on a quarterback at the top of the draft.
As a four-decade NFL lifer, though, he knows just as well that the cost to the franchise is equally steep if a running back, offensive lineman or pass rusher goes bust at the top of the draft.