The last 12 months haven't been easy sledding for Dave Gettleman.
The New York Giants general manager passed on a franchise quarterback in the 2018 draft to select Saquon Barkley, who won Offensive Rookie of the Year but whose selection still frustrates some Giants fans; Gettleman facilitated a trade of superstar receiver Odell Beckham whom he had signed to a massive contract just one year prior; and he let locker-room favorite Landon Collins walk into free agency (and to a division rival) instead of franchise-tagging him. Most if not all of those moves have come under his watch and league-wide scrutiny.
But Gettleman, who has spent over three decades as a talent evaluator, is confident that the decisions he's made on behalf on the Giants are the right ones.
"I've been to seven Super Bowls," the Giants GM told Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger in an exclusive interview this week. "I feel very strongly that I know what it should look like, what it should smell like, what it should taste like. And, so, you can look at me and say, well, I either know what I'm doing or I'm a big fat rabbit's foot. Neither one's bad, right? I like my resume so far."
That's an long list of associated accolades, but Big Blue boasts a what-can-you-do-for-me-now fan base, and recently Gettleman has made some controversial decisions. Those moves have riled up the fans and the press, who, the GM told Politi, are not portraying his tenure accurately.
"What I find interesting, there are people reporting and making judgments on what I do and how I do my job who don't know the game, who have never been involved with a team, and have just been on the outside looking in," Gettleman added. "That's not your fault, by the way. It's just the way it is. But the problem is, to me, is when a reporter makes a judgment and doesn't have all the information. That's a thing I just shake my head at."
These comments come a week before the most consequential draft of Gettleman's career. With two first-round picks (Nos. 6 and 17), one earned as a result of the OBJ swap, New York is presumed to finally draft Eli Manning's successor under center after neglecting to do so last year. But Gettleman has been coy about potentially selecting a signal-caller.
"I'm just telling you: I'm not going to force a pick," the GM said on Thursday. "You can't draft for need. You'll get screwed every time. You'll make a mistake."
If New York does not acquire a QB next week, either through the draft or via a trade (cough, Josh Rosen, cough), Gettleman's decision-making will again come under criticism. But as has been his attitude since taking office, the GM refuses to be moved by outside opprobrium.
"You have to have a philosophy, and you have to be intentional with every single move. And you can't panic," Gettleman "I've told [Giants owner and CEO] John Mara, 'We're going to fix this. We're going to put a team out there that everyone is going to be proud of.'"