Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora says he’s tired of being criticized for wanting a new contract by people who say he should play out the contract he signed — especially if those same people don’t criticize the Giants for failing to let players play out the length of their contracts.
In an e-mail to the Associated Press, Umenyiora noted that when the Giants felt that Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert were no longer playing up to the level of their pay, the team cut those two veterans. But when a player like Umenyiora feels that he’s out-playing his contract, he’s criticized for seeking a raise.
“What really annoys me is the hypocrisy of people clamoring for my head for asking for a new deal or to be traded,” Umenyiora wrote. “Saying I have 2 years left on my deal. These contracts only mean something to us? Where is O’Hara? Where is Seubert? True inspirational football players. They were cut after being injured. They have years left on their deal.”
Umenyiora says that in the NFL, contracts are a one-way street: Players are supposed to honor them, but teams aren’t.
“The fact is in the business we are in, if you get injured, or they feel like you underperformed, they cut you without hesitation,” Umenyiora said. “But if you clearly outplay your contract, and ask for something to be done, you’re a bad guy and not a team player. It’s ridiculous.”
Umenyiora also seems bothered by the six-year, $72 million contract the Panthers gave to Charles Johnson.
“How does a guy who had one good year [no disrespect to Charles Johnson] sign a deal and make more than both me and [Justin] Tuck combined?” Umenyiora wrote in the e-mail. “It’s not right.”
Although the Giants have given Umenyiora permission to seek a trade, Umenyiora says he still would like to think things can get worked out with the Giants.
“I hope there is a chance,” Umenyiora said of staying with the Giants. “But who knows?”