Dave Gettleman whiffs again, this time on Giants defensive line

Dalvin Tomlinson Giants
Dalvin Tomlinson (94) agreed to sign with the Minnesota Vikings after four years with the Giants.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Just before the official start of free agency, general manager Dave Gettleman created another massive hole for the New York Giants to fill this offseason.

As if rebuilding a team that hasn’t won more than six games in six of the last seven seasons and already had glaring needs wasn’t already enough.

The Giants now need to address the interior of their defensive line after letting Dalvin Tomlinson walk — the 27-year-old agreeing to sign a two-year, $22 million with the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.

Tomlinson had been one of the most productive and consistent members of the Giants defense over the last four years, posting 207 total tackles and eight sacks. Last season was his finest as a pro under first-year defensive coordinator Patrick Graham as he put up four sacks, 28 quarterback pressures, and 18 hurries.

It was during the 2020 season that there was trade chatter involving Tomlinson. The Green Bay Packers were believed to be interested, but Gettleman opted to keep the lineman through the end of his contract — probably to keep the Giants’ dim playoff hopes alive as they went 6-10, but still finished second in the embarrassingly bad NFC East.

Now he let him walk with nothing to show for it — a byproduct of a decreased salary cap this offseason — after they were unable to work out a long-term deal prior to last season.

This was a scenario that many saw playing out with the Giants currently hardpressed for cap space while they continue to try to work out a deal with defensive end, Leonard Williams, whom the team exercised the franchise tag on last week.

New York will rely on the likes of Dexter Lawrence, BJ Hill, and Austin Johnson to fill the void that’s now left by Tomlinson’s departure.

But it all could have been avoided with an iota of foresight from Gettleman that could have at the very least seen the Giants come out with some form of draft capital by trading Tomlinson last season.