On Monday, any hopes the New York Giants had of salvaging anything of value from the 2021 NFL season went up in smoke. Third-year quarterback Daniel Jones will miss the rest of the campaign due to a neck injury. The only thing the 4-10 Giants could have gotten from the rest of this year was more experience for Jones. Given how awful things are, it's time for the franchise to blow things up and start over.
The three pillars of a successful NFL franchise rest at general manager, head coach and quarterback. If a team has solid people at all three spots, it can win football games. If it has great talent at each spot, it can contend for Super Bowls. The Giants are currently 0-for-3.
General manager Dave Gettleman has to go. Frankly, I don't know why he's still there. All he's done is make disappointing draft selections and saddle the Giants with a bloated roster that is set to only have $3.7 million in cap space heading into 2022. That collection of talent has been absolutely awful this year.
Since taking over as the team's general manager in late 2017, Gettleman has had five first-round picks. In 2018 he selected oft-injured running back Saquon Barkley at No. 2. In 2019, he selected Jones, who has been terrible, at No. 6. In that same draft he also picked up defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (No. 17) and cornerback Deandre Baker (No. 30). Lawrence was decent as a rookie and average since, while Baker was waived after being arrested before the 2020 season. He's now on the Kansas City Chiefs. With the fourth pick in the 2020 draft, Gettleman took offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, who was awful as a rookie and has actually been pretty good in 2021. Meanwhile, 2021 first-rounder Kadarius Toney has dealt with an oblique injury and COVID as a rookie.
There aren't any home runs on that list, and absolutely no place for Gettleman to hang his hat.
Jones has been the biggest problem on Gettleman's resume. The Duke product was wildly over-drafted thanks in part to being in a weak quarterback class. At 6-foot-5 and 221 pounds, Jones looks like an NFL passer, but has never played like one. In 11 games as a third-year pro, he completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 2,428 yards, with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He averaged a woeful 6.7 yards per attempt, and posted a passer rating of 84.3 and a QBR of 41.6. Nothing about that statline is remotely impressive.
Jones isn't even a replacement-level quarterback and that alone should get Gettleman fired. The Giants need to move on and find a long-term solution under center as soon as possible.
Then we come to head coach Joe Judge. The 39-year-old former New England Patriots special teams coordinator, Judge has looked clueless in two seasons in charge of the Giants. New York went 6-10 in 2020 and is 4-10 now. Finding another win on their schedule is difficult. At this point, why continue to allow Judge to move forward? What has he shown to give the franchise any indication he can lead a team to a championship? He needs to go.
Things aren't going to get better quickly for the Giants. They do, however, have some resources that a new regime could use to start a rebuild. They have an extra first-round pick (thanks Bears!) in the 2022 NFL Draft, and an extra third-rounder (thanks Dolphins!) as well.
New York also has some talented cornerstones to build. Guys like Leonard Williams, Kenny Golladay, plus the aforementioned Thomas and Toney. And if Barkley could ever stay healthy, he could help too. But the team needs a massive infusion of talent and new power brokers to make the necessary moves.
It's time for the Giants to hit the reset button. They are going nowhere under their current leadership and it's time to completely reboot things. Fire Gettleman and Judge, then dump Jones and start fresh. It's the only way the franchise can possibly fix itself.