Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora was benched late in the 2009 season, and says he won’t stand for that treatment again.
“I’m not going to be a backup player, I can promise you that,”
Umenyiora said on WFAN Wednesday. “I’ll stop playing football before I do that ever
again. . . . So for me it’s not something that I’m going to do. If I’m
asked to come back there and do that then I’ll just stop playing
Here’s an idea: play football better. Become a player the team couldn’t possibly take off the field. All coaches want to do is win; they didn’t think Umenyiora was good enough to play every down. Umenyiora thought his time with the team may have been up.
“I felt like I had worn out my welcome, because for certain people, no
matter what happens, they’ll never take them out of the lineup, you
understand what I mean?”
Umenyiora hopes things can be resolved and Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News writes that the team has no plans to trade or release him. We simply can’t buy that Umenyiora will quit and pass up his salary no matter what role he’s in.
Money never seems to be too far from the surface in these disputes. Umenyiora talked about getting a pay raise back in 2008. Since then, he’s missed a season with a knee injury, and had a rocky 2009. He sounds like a guy that is frustrated and doesn’t know where to direct his anger.
Obviously, he’s not getting a pay raise right now. The only way he can get one in the future is to play ball again.