In his first news conference as the new general manager for the New York Giants Friday, Dave Gettleman danced around questions about why he was fired in Carolina in July, but he did offer a few backhanded hints at what went wrong.

When asked directly why he was fired, Gettleman said: “As far as what happened there, give Mr. Richardson a call.”

As Gettleman well knows, that won’t work (I did try, though). Besides the fact that the 81-year-old Panthers owner has held exactly one news conference in the past 13 years and likely will never have another, Richardson has also announced plans to sell the team and is currently the subject of a high-profile NFL investigation about his alleged workplace misconduct toward women and minorities.

But as the Observer has previously reported, Gettleman’s hard-line stance on proposed contract renegotiations in the summer of 2017 for two already-signed Panthers veterans who have long been Richardson favorites– linebacker Thomas Davis and tight end Greg Olsen – certainly did play a part in Gettleman’s firing.

Gettleman did not talk about either player by name Friday at the Giants’ news conference, but he did say this in his first public comments since he was fired nearly six months ago: “Really and truly, players don’t want to hear the value you put on them because it hurts their feelings, OK? They’re sad.”

Gettleman also said about contract renegotiations for veteran players: “This is a big-boy league. You’ve got to put your big-boy pants on now. Nobody feels sorry for you. Nobody cares about your injuries. Nobody cares about what you make, what you don’t make. So I’ve learned you have to be consistent. You’ve got to be fair. And if the player is upset, so be it.”