Dave Gettleman defends Eli Manning, explains Beckham trade


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Dave Gettleman is asking for patience and trust.

Whether the Giants’ general manager has earned that, or if he deserves it, that’s another story with where the franchise is right now as it attempts to move forward into an uncertain future from a losing present filed with more questions than answers.

What Gettleman says publicly does not matter as much as what he does privately.

Behind the scenes, the Giants can’t afford to be head-in-the-sand effusive in their praise of 2018 Eli Manning, believing his return solves the problem of having no apparent successor at the position currently on the roster.

“Trust me, we got a plan,” Gettleman said. “Everybody wants answers now. We live in an instant gratification society. Everybody wants answers now. Over time, you’ll see it. You have to trust it.”

The Giants have a losing record in four of the past five seasons – Gettleman was GM for just one of those – and they’ve only made the playoffs once since winning Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.

“You’re not going to be able to give a Roman Coliseum thumbs up or thumbs down on this trade for a little bit,” Gettleman said. “We have to see how Jabrill [Peppers] develops, and we’ve got to see who this [first-round pick] is, who this [third-round pick] is. And you guys will obviously follow Odell’s career and we’ll go from there. Then in two or three years, you can have your opinions. Just like you have them now.”

Gettleman held a conference call with the media Monday in which he addressed the team’s offseason so far, including the status of Manning and the decision to trade Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns.

Here are some of the highlights:

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Still all-in on Eli Manning for 2019

Gettleman is still hammering away at what he believes is a narrative to negatively criticize Manning’s play. The Giants had a decision to make by Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline – Manning received a $5 million bonus if he is on the roster following that – but the more Gettleman talked about Manning, the more you realize that, from the organization’s perspective, it wasn’t a decision at all.

“This narrative that Eli’s overpaid and can’t play is a crock,” Gettleman said.

Trading Odell Beckham Jr. was a football move

Gettleman is adamant he did not trade Odell Beckham Jr. “straight up” for former Paramus Catholic grad and safety Jabrill Peppers, but Peppers was a significant part of the deal. That, in and of itself, comes with pressure for Peppers, replacing Landon Collins to boot, even if Giants won’t publicly put it on him.

Gettleman said the only trade call he initiated regarding Beckham was to the Bills, and he reached out to Bills GM Brandon Beane – whom he worked with in Carolina – after the rumored deal for Antonio Brown fell through. He said there were talks with 49ers general manager John Lynch, but those essentially stalled at the early stages. And that Browns general manager John Dorsey was the one who reached out to Gettleman and the Giants to talk Beckham.

Gettleman said there was “considerable back and forth” with Cleveland for over 10 hours. Insists it was a football decision. Calls Beckham “a tremendous talent, making him a tremendous asset” and the Giants believe they turned OBJ into three assets.

Gettleman: I’m not telling you my plan

Gettleman said while he has a plan regarding where the Giants go next, he sees no reason to reveal that publicly.

“It’s not my responsibility to tell you guys what I’m doing … that’s not my job” he said. “That’s not my responsibility. … Over time, you’ll see it. You have to trust it.”

“We’re building,” Gettleman later added. “The object of this is to win as many games as possible every year. So we’re building.”


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