Toney trade highlights the worst of Dave Gettleman’s 4-year tenure with Giants

New York Giants
Photo Credit: Christian Arnold

The New York Giants have sent shockwaves through the NFL after trading 2021 first-round pick Kadarius Toney for a conditional 3rd round pick and a sixth to the Kansas City Chiefs.

It’s been just a few months of the Joe Schoen-Brian Daboll partnership in New York but they have already highlighted one key point: cleaning up Dave Gettleman’s mess meant more than just the salary cap. 

Toney was the final first-round pick made by Gettleman in his last year with the Giants in 2021. Gettleman was hired to fix New York’s recent woes in 2018. The Giants did not make the playoffs in any of Gettleman’s four years with the team but were full of controversy throughout the organization. 

The struggles under Gettleman started early and often. There was the drafting of Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick instead of Quenton Nelson in the 2018 draft to protect the remaining years of the Eli Manning era, or the trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland, Gettleman’s tenure became mixed with confusing plans that never really amounted to much. 

Pat Shurmur and Joe Judge were tasked by Gettleman to lead New York but at no point in the four-year run were the Giants even over .500. The botched ending to Eli Manning’s career where the two-time Super Bowl MVP was benched for Daniel Jones highlighted a lack of understanding between what the Giants fanbase wanted and what was good for the organization was left fully on the front porch of Gettleman’s inability to communicate. 

The lack of humility and understanding of what makes a good football team also leads directly to the draft. The draft picks of Barkley and Jones look good years afterward but did not help the Giants in any way earlier on. Early-round misses like Will Hernandez, Deandre Baker, and Lorenzo Carter and the lack of a competent scouting department were only compounded by the recent trade of Toney. Add in free-agent acquisitions like Kenny Golladay and the Giants have never been in dire need of cap relief as much as they are now. 

Scoffing about the use of analytics didn’t help his tenure either. 

The Giants went 19–46 (.292) record in four seasons. Bad free agents, bad coaching and poor draft picks all fall into the hands of Gettleman. The recent trade of Kadarius Toney only highlights the disaster of Gettleman throughout his four-year tenure. 

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