The NFL trade deadline is coming up, and as one of the teams struggling this year, many think the New York Giants could make moves to either compete better or further their rebuilding process at the expense of winning immediately. It’s hard to predict which option the Giants will go with, considering that Dave Gettleman is the General Manager and at this point is very well known for unexpected and unpredictable moves, but we can look back at Gettleman’s first year to see what the team did back then.
The most notable move that the team made was moving Damon Harrison to the Detroit Lions for a fifth round draft pick only days before the deadline, which raised many eyebrows for fans – Harrison was, after all, the team’s best run defender. The Giants’ play in this area became noticeably worse after getting rid of Harrison, and it wasn’t until later on that the public would find out that this unusual move may have been made because of the front office disliking certain off the field traits about the player.
The other move in October, of course, was getting rid of cornerback Eli Apple, who never quite matured into filling the role that the Giants wanted him to play on the defense. What is the common theme in both of these trades?
Both times, Gettleman moved players from the previous regime before immediately replacing them with draft selections or free agents of his own choosing. Harrison was replaced with Dexter Lawrence and the Giants drafted a number of cornerbacks, although the team still struggles at the position due to their inexperience. When the team waived Ereck Flowers, they’d replace him the next offseason with the addition of Mike Remmers from free agency.
So it can be expected that as the trade deadline approaches, the Giants front office will focus on areas of the team where Gettleman’s vision hasn’t been enacted yet – rather than trying to win now, it seems more likely that the team embraces the rebuild and makes moves accordingly, just as they sacrificed competitiveness at the trade deadline last year in exchange for moving on from players that didn’t fit into the team’s future plans.
Still, with many players on both sides of the ball not having had much time to prove themselves, after the roster was drastically rebuilt over the past two years, it remains to be seen just who is on the chopping block.
But even if the exact moves aren’t clear, just as no one saw the Harrison trade coming last year, one should remember that the Giants under Gettleman have already proven that they’re willing to move on from talented players and focus on rebuilding if the situation calls for that. And right now, based on the team’s performances, rebuilding might just be needed.