The New York Giants are likely to move on from general manager Dave Gettleman following the season. Whether he’s fired or retires remains to be seen but either way, Big Blue will be thrust into another GM search.
If the Giants are firm in their commitment to head coach Joe Judge, that may thin out their pool of options. It may also strengthen the likelihood of landing a new GM that has previous ties to Judge.
Is that good or bad? We’ll let you decide.
With a GM swap all but a certainty, here’s a look at several potential options who could replace Gettleman in 2022 and beyond.
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If the Giants are so committed to Judge, perhaps they take the Bill Belichick route and allow him to serve as general manager. It’s something fans called for early on but are likely far less certain about now. And while this sort of promotion seems unlikely, Giants ownership is reportedly smitten with Judge and view him as their own Belichick.
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Kevin Abrams is a favorite going into any general manager search. He’s been with the organization since 1999 and has served as their assistant GM since 2002. When Jerry Reese was fired in 2017, Abrams stepped in as the interim guy and then drew an interview for the full-time position prior to Gettleman’s hiring in 2018. He’s familiar with ownership, Judge and team personnel.
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Louis Riddick has been connected to the Giants’ GM job for years now and even drew an interview prior to Gettleman’s hiring in 2018. Since then, Riddick, an on-air NFL analyst, has routinely focused his criticism on the organization and its decision-making. That hasn’t been malicious but perhaps more of a reminder to the Mara and Tisch families of what they missed out on. Don’t be surprised if he lands another interview.
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Scott Pioli is a long-time executive at the NFL level who currently serves as the assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons. Prior to that, he spent four seasons as the general manager in Kansas City and nine season managing personnel in New England. Although his time in New England didn’t overlap with current Giants head coach Joe Judge, their overall roster building philosophies are similar.
Piolo is a five-time NFL Executive of the Year and was named the NFL Executive of the Decade (2000-2010).
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Rick Smith took a leave from the NFL in the final days of 2017 and he’s remained out of football since. However, the former Houston Texans GM and executive vice president of football operations has drawn interest over the past two seasons. The fact that he’s been taking interviews would seem to indicate a willingness to return and his experience as a talent evaluator can’t be ignored. Would he be a priority choice for the Giants? Probably not, but Judge wasn’t either when he interviewed for the head coaching position.
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Eliot Wolf is currently in his second season as a front office consult for the Patriots and although his time did not coincide with Joe Judge’s, their styles are undoubtedly similar.
Prior to joining New England, Wolf spent two seasons as the assistant general manager of the Cleveland Browns. That came after 14 seasons with the Green Bay Packers in which he served in various roles, including director of pro personnel, player personnel and football operations.
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If Mike Mayock can make the transition from NFL analyst to NFL GM, why can’t Daniel Jeremiah?
Jeremiah is certainly not considered a conventional option but the Giants have taken that route repeatedly with no success. If they really want to mix things up and change how business is done, hiring someone like Jeremiah — the risk be darned — would accomplish that.
And it’s not as if Jeremiah doesn’t have some experience. After a college career as a quarterback, he broke into the NFL as a regional scout in 2005 working alongside then-Baltimore Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome. He also served as a scout for both the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles.
Jeremiah drew GM interest as recently as 2019 (New York Jets) so don’t rule out potential Giants interest.
There was a reason Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard poached Ed Dodds from the Seattle Seahawks in 2017. Dodds is widely considered one of the best talent evaluators in the NFL and it’s only a matter of time before he lands a GM job. The issue with Dodds is that he may want to start fresh when that happens — meaning his own head coach and his own players. If the Giants stick with Judge, that is unlikely to happen in New York.
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Mike Borgonzi is the assistant general manager for the Kansas City Chiefs under Brett Veach. Before his promotion, he was the director of football operations with the team — just one of many positions he’s held in Kansas City over the last decade, where he’s overseen a lot of winning and a Super Bowl championship.
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Alonzo Highsmith, a one-time NFL fullback, is now the personnel executive for the Seattle Seahawks, who have had a tremendous track record over the last 10 years. Before then, he was the vice president of player personnel for the Cleveland Browns when they started to get out of the NFL basement.
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Dave Caldwell is a former GM in the league, as he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars GM from 2013-2020. He also worked with former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin and almost got to the Super Bowl in 2017. Currently, he is a personnel executive with the Philadelphia Eagles.
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John Dorsey is probably one of the more recognizable names on this list from his time with the Cleveland Browns (2017-2019), when the Browns were on “Hard Knocks.”
Dorsey served as the director of college scouting for the Green Bay Packers (1997-1998), the director of player personnel for the Seattle Seahawks (1999), the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs (2013-2017) and Cleveland Browns (2017-2019) and has remained in the game the last two years with the Eagles (front office consultant, 2020) and currently serves as a senior personnel executive for the Detroit Lions.
Dorsey was a part of the Packers organization for both Super Bowl XXXI and Super Bowl XLV. Coincidentally enough, Dorsey was on the other side of the Odell Beckham Jr. trade which Giants fans are all too familiar with.
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Kyle O’Brien has quite an impressive resume with over two decades of time in the NFL. He is a Harvard graduate who spend time with the New England Patriots from 2000-2011 (intern, area scout, pro personnel scout, national scout), the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012 (national scout) and the Detroit Lions for five seasons starting in 2016.
Although O’Brien saw plenty of winning in New England, his time with the Patriots did not overlap with Joe Judge’s Patriots stint. He is currently serving as the Giants’ senior personnel executive of college scouting and his father spent time with Big Blue from 1993-2000 as the associate team physician.
Dave Zeigler is currently in his ninth season with the New England Patriots, all in the scouting department. He’s had a couple of roles with the organization (assistant director of pro scouting, director of pro personnel, assistant director of player personnel, director of player personnel).
Ziegler’s spent time with Giants current head coach Joe Judge during Judge’s time in New England. He also spent time in the scouting department with the Denver Broncos and time coaching high school and college programs.
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Ryan Poles is currently in his 12th year with the Kansas City Chiefs. Obviously, Poles is doing something right to remain with the same NFL team for all these years.
Poles has served as a scouting assistant (2009-2012), college scouting coordinator (2010-2016), director of college scouting (2016-2018), assistant director of player personnel (2018-2021) and executive director of player personnel (2021-present). He has plenty of years of experience in the NFL but it’s questionable to consider him as the next GM of Big Blue.
Morocco Brown is in his sixth season with the Indianapolis Colts as the director of college scouting. His draft reputation is a big reason why he may be a potential target for NFL teams searching for a new GM.
Brown is a part of the scouting team that selected Jonathan Taylor, Darius Leonard and Quenton Nelson. Before his time with the Colts, he was the vice president of player personnel for the Cleveland Browns from 2014-2015 and spent time with Washington as the director of pro personnel from 2008-2013.
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Ryan Cowden is another Tennessee Titans executive who would be a strong candidate to be the Giants’ new general manager. He is currently in his 22nd NFL season and is the vice president of player personnel in Tennessee. Cowden’s experience would make him a secure hire for anyone, including the Giants.
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Monti Ossenfort is the director of player personnel for the Titans and spent last season interviewing for general manager positions. He is an up-and-coming executive in football and has helped the Titans be one of the most dominant teams in the AFC over the past few seasons.
Ossenfort earned a second interview with the Panthers last year for the general manager position and this may be the year he finally is able to achieve that role but for the Giants.
Joe Schoen is a member of the Buffalo Bills’ executive department and currently works as the assistant GM. He was hired in 2017 and since then, the Bills have been one of the best teams in the AFC. Last season, the Bills went as far as the AFC Championship Game, which was the deepest run the team has had in over 20 years.
Schoen learned under Brandon Beane (one of the most successful general managers in football) and would make a valuable hire for the Giants this offseason.
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Lake Dawson is an ex-NFL player for the Kansas City Chiefs where he played four seasons as a wideout totaling 1,406 receiving yards. Dawson is now the assistant director of college scouting for the Buffalo Bills and has helped turn the Bills around after they were a team that had not even scratched the playoff for 17 seasons.
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Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is a strong potential candidate to replace Gettleman as the new GM in East Rutherford. He is a Princeton graduate and a young, up-and-coming executive in football who has worked in San Francisco and is currently in Cleveland as the VP of football operations.
Adofo-Mensah would add some youth to the Giants’ executive branch and has been a part of a few winning franchises during his NFL career, including with the 49ers during their Super Bowl run.
Champ Kelly is the Chicago Bears’ director of player personnel and has a deep scouting background that goes back to his days in Denver. He has an eye for talent and strong front office experience, making him a very solid candidate.
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Joe Hortiz has been Baltimore’s director of college scouting for the past seven years and has been with the Ravens in various roles for 19 seasons. Baltimore is one of the NFL’s smarter teams and draft very well. The question is, can Hortiz run the whole gamut as a GM?
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Jeff Ireland is the assistant GM and college scouting director for the New Orleans Saints, a job he’s held since 2015. He has walked the walk as a scout and executive since 1994 and was the Miami Dolphins’ GM from 2008-13. The experience is there, but a winning track record is not.
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Omar Kahn is the Pittsburgh Steelers’ vice president of football and business administration. He helped build two Super Bowl teams in Pittsburgh but is not a scouting wink by trade. He has, however, had a ton of success. He could build an organization that would work. That is, if ownership stayed out of his way.
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Trent Kirchner is GM John Schneider’s right-hand personnel man in Seattle. Not exactly a great place to be hailing from these days after the dubious trades and poor drafts they’ve had the past few years. Houston interviewed him in July.
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Will McClay has a long resume as a scout, coach and executive mainly with the rival Dallas Cowboys, where he’s served as the vice president of player personnel since 2018. A GM role would be a step up for McClay but would Dallas let him defect to the Giants? He’s used to owner interference so he could be a fit.
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Adam Peters has been the San Francisco 49ers’ assistant GM to John Lynch for the past four years. He was with Denver for eight seasons before that as their director of college scouting. Doubt if he’d keep many of the coaches and players in the building. Would he come east and deal with this pressure cooker?
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Brandon Brown is in his fifth season with the Philadelphia Eagles and his seventh in the NFL. Despite his limited experience, Brown, who currently serves as Philly’s director of player personnel, is considered one of the fastest risers in personnel. Brown is also well-educated and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Fordham University and a law degree from Barry University Law School. He’s not going to be “available” for long.