Reporter says Dave Gettleman rejected big trade opportunity in 2018 draft
The tenure of former New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman will not be remembered fondly by the team’s fans. One story that came out recently will not make the fans feel any better about what could have been.
SNY reporter Connor J. Hughes, who covers both the Jets and Giants for the network, shared a remarkable story Sunday about how Gettleman rejected a potentially golden trade opportunity in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Giants had the second selection in that draft and used it on running back Saquon Barkley. Quarterback Sam Darnold went third to the New York Jets. Had they wanted to, the Giants could have probably fielded some calls from quarterback-needy teams that might have wanted to jump the Jets to draft Darnold.
The Denver Broncos, under then-GM John Elway, were one of those teams. According to Hughes, Elway loved Darnold as a prospect. There was some thinking that the Broncos would be willing to make a massive offer to move up to No. 2 to take him. What the offer might have been is unknown for one simple reason: Gettleman was allegedly so set on selecting Barkley that he never even answered the Broncos’ phone calls.
Asked Maccagnan this once. No way to answer. NYJ knew NYG were going Barkley & only Barkley. Only time MM got nervous was when Baker went 1. He knew Elway LOVED Darnold. Thought he’d offer moon & stars to NYG for 2.
Might have. Gettleman never answered phone. Just took Barkley https://t.co/Oq3ybNcuZZ
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) August 14, 2022
On one hand, Barkley turned out to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018 and looked to be one of the best young backs in the league before a series of injuries derailed his career. Gettleman was not totally unjustified in ranking him so highly. On the other hand, Gettleman surely had to do his due diligence and at least see what Denver might be willing to give up to move from No. 5 to No. 2. In that scenario though, the Browns could have taken Barkley at No. 4, preventing the Giants from drafting him.
Gettleman retired at the end of the 2021 season, though the organization was probably moving on from him no matter what. From infamously trading Odell Beckham Jr. two months after ruling it out to getting absolutely roasted over his selection of Daniel Jones, Gettleman was not a popular figure among Giants fans. Even players were willing to call him out. This new claim will do nothing to help restore his reputation in New York.