EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman finally broke his months long media silence and addressed the media following the team’s 5-11 season
Speaking on a variety of topics, the most interesting one of the lot was the general manager’s refusal to echo head coach Pat Shurmur’s sentiments about wanting 15-year veteran Eli Manning back as the starting quarterback.
Gettleman revealed that on Monday, Manning sought him out for what evolved into an “extensive” and “no holds barred” conversation in which Gettleman said he was honest and upfront with Manning about the future.
But Gettleman while Gettleman declined to share the specifics of what was said during that conversation, he also left the door open to there being a change if the right situation were to materialize.
**“**We will do what’s in the best interest of the New York Football Giants. That’s the way we operated when I walked in the door and that’s the way we will continue to operate,” Gettleman said.
“What we’re trying to do here is build sustained success and that takes some brutal honesty and it takes some tough decisions.”
One of those tough decisions is what to do with Manning’s $23.2 million cap figure in 2019 which also includes $11.5 million in base salary and a $5 million roster bonus if Manning is still on the team on March 17, 2019.
“Obviously part of the salary cap is players are not in vacuums,” Gettleman said when asked if there was a chance of Manning’s deal being reworked. “But I’m not going to go there.”
While Gettleman also insisted that the Giants won’t approach the draft or free agency with the belief that they have to acquire a player at a certain position (“When you do that,” he said, “that’s when you make a mistake.”), his tone was noticeably different than when he first took the job and declared that Manning, who finished the 2018 season with 4,299 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, while completing a career-high 66 percent of his passes, had years left of football in him.
“I’m committed to making the best decision in the interest of the New York Football Giants,” Gettleman reiterated. “We’re in the evaluation process. I know you guys want answers now, but I didn’t come in yesterday. So I’m going to do what I do, which is get in my office and watch film.
“We’re going to meet this week with the coaches and get their evaluations and meet next week with the pro personnel folks and get their evaluations. That’s our schedule and I will be watching film until my eyes bleed. My commitment is to make this team the best team it can be. And if that happens to have Eli playing quarterback, then it does (mean he’s committed to having Eli back).”
Despite his lukewarm endorsement of Manning, Gettleman stressed that he’s going to do his due diligence before arriving at any decisions, which means he’s going to go back and watch every snap that Manning took in 2018 carefully.
“I always want to be right,” Gettleman said. “That’s me. That’s just my nature. I’m a film-junkie. There are things that I’ll remember that happened, but I might not catch.
"Understand this, I am very intentional about how I operate. Very intentional, methodical. That’s just who I am. I’m very methodical as a film-watcher, and making decisions. Yes, I watched every snap, but I want to watch the film, and I want to have time to breathe.”