Skip to content

Barry Cofield: Giants’ treatment of veteran players is wrong

Barry Cofield AP

After starting at defensive tackle for the Giants for his entire five-year NFL career, Barry Cofield signed a free-agent contract with the Redskins this offseason. Now Cofield is preparing to play against his old teammates — and taking shots at his old front office.

Cofield said he doesn’t like the way the Giants treated some of the veteran players who left this offseason, including Shaun O’Hara, Rich Seubert, Chase Blackburn, Kevin Boss and Steve Smith.

“Some other guys I played with, sweat with and bled with, I don’t think it was right, the way things went down with them,” Cofield told Mike Garafolo of the Star-Ledger. “A guy that’s been there for 10 years like Rich gets hurt and you fire him? That’s the best way to put it.”

Cofield is also upset with the way the Giants have treated Osi Umenyiora.

“And don’t forget about Osi. I don’t think that’s right either,” Cofield said. “If you’re two years into a contract and maybe you feel like you signed a bad deal, that’s one thing. But he’s played four years into a six-year deal. That’s about the time it’s reasonable to come back and say, ‘Can we do something about this?’”

Actually, some people would argue that the time to ask to do something is when you’ve completed all of your contract, not when you’ve completed two-thirds of your contract. But Cofield’s point is that the Giants are a lot more likely to cut a player who has underperformed than reward a player who has overperformed. Cofield left the Giants to get his reward, and now he’s motivated to play against them.

Permalink 54 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: New York Giants, Rumor Mill, Top Stories, Washington Redskins
54 Responses to “Barry Cofield: Giants’ treatment of veteran players is wrong”
  1. qdog112 says: Sep 7, 2011 7:09 AM

    If you believe in Karma, the Giants treatment of players will come back to bite them.

  2. tiffpats4eva says: Sep 7, 2011 7:18 AM

    Michael,

    Ask Jags if, “some people would argue that the time to ask to do something is when you’ve completed all of your contract.”

  3. joetoronto says: Sep 7, 2011 7:22 AM

    “Actually, some people would argue that the time to ask to do something is when you’ve completed all of your contract, not when you’ve completed two-thirds of your contract.”

    That’s the way it should be, contracts are essentially one way now, in favor of the player.

  4. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 7, 2011 7:23 AM

    Not mad at Cofield, we knew he was leaving back in January. If not before. Can’t say I blame him here either, but longtime Giants fans know how the front office has always been.

  5. zibikbeer says: Sep 7, 2011 7:26 AM

    The one that left me scratching my head was letting Shaun O’hara go. I’m still surprised no other team signed him yet.

  6. ajknox88 says: Sep 7, 2011 7:29 AM

    I dont think he understans that its a business not a family, you CAN be replaced.

  7. boneyardbuc says: Sep 7, 2011 7:30 AM

    “Actually, some people would argue that the time to ask to do something is when you’ve completed all of your contract, not when you’ve completed two-thirds of your contract.” – Smith

    That logic assumes that a “contract” is binding for BOTH sides. Come on Smith, how can you interject like that and not mention that only players’ feet are held to the fire when it comes to fulfilling an NFL contract? Anything less is negligence. You’re feeding the fire of ignorant joes who already have a chip on their shoulder about overpaid athletes…

  8. Topher says: Sep 7, 2011 7:32 AM

    Its easy to forget that these players teams give millions of dollars to aren’t even old enough to run for President yet. Their ability to think through a situation isn’t as mature as it will be in ten years. And we give the rantings of an emotional 20 something big print time.

  9. zilla1126 says: Sep 7, 2011 7:32 AM

    I feel obliged to point out that you NEVER hear these kinds of stories from former Colts players – despite the fact that PFT treats Irsay/Polian/Manning as the most horrible thing in football.

    When is the last time you remember the Colts having a ugly situation with a player? 1997?

  10. kelsocarpenter says: Sep 7, 2011 7:35 AM

    Well Cofield will get what’s coming to him, right guys? Because the Redskins are the SECOND TO WORST TEAM IN THE NFL, RIGHT GUYS?

    Give me a break. They’ve improved at every single position except for QB, which I would argue is a push (McNabb is falling and Grossman is steadily mediocre). But how can a team who went 6-10, but improved all over the place, be the 31st best team in the league?

    And yet, of course, the Cowboys (6-10), who made no improvements except for getting an inconsistent, injury-prone Tony Romo back, are 10th? Right. Solid work guys. You’re no different than ESPN.

  11. wethog66 says: Sep 7, 2011 7:41 AM

    Front office people and coaches don’t go into their final year of contracts because it undermines their authoritty. Why expect the same from players?

    @zilla1126

    How about 1983? I bet some players were not happy to up root their famlies and move to BFE Indiannapolis, along with the majority of residents of Baltimore/MD.

  12. ntr0py says: Sep 7, 2011 7:44 AM

    Cofield does not understand how the NFL works.

    There is a salary cap. You can only pay players so much.

    The less you pay for talent, the more talent you can afford for your team.

    Teams which reward loyalty in contracts are deliberately sabotaging their on-field competitiveness under this system. Shame on them, bravo for the Giants.

  13. eaglesblow says: Sep 7, 2011 7:56 AM

    kelsocarpenter i’d say that the cowboys coaching change is an improvement in itself aside from other improvements. the cowboys were an unmotivated team that had no direction for most of last season THE REDSKINS WERE JUST PLAIN BAD. YOU HAVE NO QB AND YOU STILL HAVE DAN SNYDER. Those two FACTS do not bode well for the redskins.

  14. strctlylo says: Sep 7, 2011 8:00 AM

    Cofield made a business decision that was in his best interest and that was to sign a deal with another team offering more money, good for him. The Giants wouldn’t have been doing their team any good by bringing back O’Hara and Seubert. O’Hara still hasn’t been picked up and Seubert and months away from being able to play and who knows at what level. So why would it have been a good idea to bring those guys back? Furthermore, the money you give to those old and injured players takes away from the money that they could give to younger/healthier players. ( Would have preferred they give Cofield big money instead of Canty.) Osi has played 4 years of a 6 yr contract in which one of those he was hurt and missed a large part of the season and another in which he was benched and wasn’t a starter. Why would the team break the bank after having one solid season in his last three? Giants are on the money with these deals or lack thereof.

  15. yukon672010 says: Sep 7, 2011 8:01 AM

    What does this story have to do with the colts ?

  16. tsimpson50 says: Sep 7, 2011 8:04 AM

    Mr. Cofield, can you please give me your take on politics too? No offense, but you’re like the French Fry guy at McDonalds trying to tell the store manager how he should run his store.

  17. steeelfann says: Sep 7, 2011 8:20 AM

    The veteran’s treatment of the Giants organization is wrong.

  18. djstat says: Sep 7, 2011 8:32 AM

    1. NO SYMPATHY FOR OSI. If you signed a bad deal, fire your agent

    2. Cofield has never played in a 3-4, we will see if he is a good signing for the Deadskins.

    3. The Giants clearly were thinking that O’Hare and Seubert are injured and old. Hence why no one has resigned them.

    4. Kevin Boss Was a FA and chose to leave as was Steve “Benedict Arnold” Smith

    5. When will these over paid millionaires stop bitching about how they get treated on the job…go work in a factory for one week and see how long you last

  19. jacunn2000 says: Sep 7, 2011 8:34 AM

    A picture is worth a thousand words sometimes…..

  20. gpete1962 says: Sep 7, 2011 8:36 AM

    Barry might be right about his situation but wrong about all the players being treated unfairly by the Giants.

    Smith was offered a big contract last year while he was hurt but thought he could get more and turned it down. BTW he got less from the eagles

    Osi, front loaded his contract and now cry’s about playing for half pay at the end of it. I wish I could take my salary in advance and complain later about working for half pay.

    Look I have no Love for Giant ownership either. Especially after being screwed with PSL’s and a new stadium I didn’t need.

    I’ve never heard one single Player active or retired mention how he feels sorry for the loyal fans who make their game #1 getting screwed with high ticket prices

    Bottom line is, there both Greedy “So let them lose their souls”

  21. jetlionlove says: Sep 7, 2011 8:38 AM

    You say “except for QB” like its a small thing… unfortunately for you its the most important of all.

    And lets not jump to conclusions like Hightower is the #1 back you dreamed of, and Jabar Gaffney is the new Wes Welker.

    The Skins may not be 31 but they’re definitely in the bottom 5 – and that’s bad enough.

  22. jw731 says: Sep 7, 2011 8:40 AM

    Did he have a box of tissues handy during this interview?

  23. east96st says: Sep 7, 2011 8:45 AM

    Life long Gints fan. In the past, I would have argued that Cofield was just bitter. But after the Steve Smith fiasco, I have to admit that maybe he has a point. NY could have signed Smith for what amounts to pennies in today’s NFL. He is wrong about Boss, though. It makes no sense to try to match Oakland’s offer when Oakland actually, you know, passes to their TE and on the Giants all he really does is act as an extra O lineman. Plus, with all the concussions Boss has suffered… I wish the guy well, but you can’t help but feel that Oakland will get a season, maybe two, before his head injuries force him to retire.

  24. dxl115 says: Sep 7, 2011 8:45 AM

    I agree with you completely Kelso. My Dolphins are apparently the 29th worst team in the NFL, despite the deepest defensive line in the league, one set to improve from its 6th overall ranking last year. That alone should be enough to keep Miami in the middle of the pack. Not to mention, the Fins have added speed on the offense, have a new attacking mentality on offense and have shown more big play ability in the preseason. By the way, if you count the blown call against Pittsburgh last year the Fins are 8-8. Buuuutttt, everyone in the national media is trashing the Fins this year and saying they’ll finish fourth in the AFC East so why not PFT? Pathetic. Somehow a Carolina team with a rookie quarterback and far less talent is supposed to be in better shape than the Fins and Skins right now. Give me a break guys.

  25. shawshankreception says: Sep 7, 2011 8:46 AM

    Apparently, neither Coefield nor MDS are aware of how the Giants stuck with Seubert when he broke his fibula, tibia and ankle in October 2003. He sat out all of 2004 and was quite limited in 2005. Yet they held a roster spot for him. The Giants franchise has consistently been more than fair when they are in a position to do so. Cap space has been a large factor in their decisions of late, so of course there will be casualties.

  26. The Chu says: Sep 7, 2011 8:46 AM

    I get that if a player over-performs on his contract, he feels like he should be paid more. But if he *under*-performs on his contract, does he ever think about negotiating down?

    The argument that a team can cut a player at any time is a little misleading. Pragmatically, no team is going to cut a player in the first half of his contract unless his play is truly horrendous (like Jamarcus Russell). The reason is that even if a player with the long term contract is cut, he still got paid. All long term contracts are tempered with guaranteed money as that’s how the longer length was negotiated. Most of those last years are empty anyway.

    Rookie contracts and such like Desean Jackson’s deserve to be negotiated, especially given his performance. But remember, if you’re advocating for all players to be able to do this, you’re also supporting Lance Briggs.

  27. jbl429 says: Sep 7, 2011 8:51 AM

    Barry Cofield was a very underrated part of the Giants defense the past few years. That being said, he needs to grow up a bit and realize this is a business. The Giants are trying to put the best team on the field to increase their chances of winning. If that means cutting an old vet who’s played on the team the past 10 years, so be it. It’s not like O’Hara can’t afford to provide for his family. It’s just part of the business.

  28. 6thsense79 says: Sep 7, 2011 8:54 AM

    Joetoronto,

    Judging by 98% thumbs down rating you got I hope you realize how silly your comment was. I don’t always agree with the folks on this site but for the most part many have an idea of how the league works. You? Not so much.

  29. sc5000 says: Sep 7, 2011 8:59 AM

    @Joetoronto, are you delusional? Owners can cut and release players at will, rip their contracts up at any time and tell them to hit the road. Mike Brown’s speech telling Carson Palmer to honor his contract made me wanna puke. Wonder how many times Mike Brown cut or released a player under contract, talk about the pot calling the kettle black…

  30. 6thsense79 says: Sep 7, 2011 9:08 AM

    The Chu….I don’t know what NFL you’ve been watching but teams regularly force players to take pay cuts for a variety of reasons. In the past few seasons the most damning was the Jets cutting Thomas Jones after a 1400+ yard rushing campaign and 13 touchdowns because he wouldn’t accept a 50% salary reduction. Ryan Grant just took a steep cut. David Gerrard is out $9 million and to add insult to injury the team didn’t have the decency of cutting him early enough so he could catch on with another team and compete for a starting job.

  31. razsan says: Sep 7, 2011 9:14 AM

    Owners, if you don’t want them to re-negotiate…then start guarantee-ing the contracts. Can’t have it both ways. I can end the contract if I WANT to but you MUST abide by it because you signed it.

  32. kevinfromphilly says: Sep 7, 2011 9:16 AM

    Well, lucky for Barry he now works for a more competent organization.

  33. igotacousinweusetocallporky says: Sep 7, 2011 9:33 AM

    gpete1962 says:
    Sep 7, 2011 8:36 AM

    ———-

    Yeah that…..stay thirsty my friends

  34. willyalistentothis says: Sep 7, 2011 9:51 AM

    I can’t say the Giants did everything correct this off season, but I don’t think the nature of the salary cap gives much room for teams to be anything less than cut-throat. And the Giants were operating above the cap. So other veterans are being treated just fine.

    Rich Seubert was a great Giant and perhaps one of the more under-rated players in the NFL, but to carry him on the roster would have been an anchor. Same with some of those other players. Shaun O’Hara simply was not good last year. And just because the Raiders think Kevin Boss is worth that much, it does not mean that well balanced management needs to think the same?

    And as for Osi, he needs to strap it up and play for the money for which he agreed to play. He is not even in a contract year. In the six losses last season it was like the guy never showed up at the park.

    Loyalty to depreciating assets gets you 6-10, bags on the head, empty chairs in December, coaches looking in the “help wanted” section, and a very long offseason.

  35. rajbais says: Sep 7, 2011 9:52 AM

    Bye bye, Coach Coughlin!!!

  36. musicman495 says: Sep 7, 2011 10:20 AM

    I find this particularly amusing, since Antonio Pierce has made a second career trashing the Redskins (who gave him his first break when no one else would), and telling the world what a great, class organization the Giants are. Well, the fact is the Giants are no better than anyone else, and have been mistreating veteran players since they dumped Sam Huff.

  37. axespray says: Sep 7, 2011 10:31 AM

    it’s a cut throat biz’ Barry, ….

    Mr Cofield: “Ka-Durrh?!”

  38. bozosforall says: Sep 7, 2011 10:34 AM

    “But Cofield’s point is that the Giants are a lot more likely to cut a player who has underperformed than reward a player who has overperformed.”

    So THAT’S where Belichick learned it from?

  39. bozosforall says: Sep 7, 2011 10:36 AM

    kevinfromphilly says:
    Sep 7, 2011 9:16 AM
    Well, lucky for Barry he now works for a more competent organization.

    __
    The team that Daniel Snyder owns? LMAO

    THE worst run organization in the NFL, with the most petty owner in all of sports.

  40. nac89 says: Sep 7, 2011 10:44 AM

    First of all Cofield HAS played NT before in college. How can we complain about a guy who actually wants to play NT for our team. I’m not gonna mention any names but last year a certain piece of sh*t wouldn’t.
    Perry has worked the Giants D too hard this off season and the injuries are really starting to stack up. I think the Giants can be decent but if another secondary guy goes down they literally have NO one. Webster,Ross,Rolle, and Phillips are good players. Hopefully my Skins take advantage and actually beat the Gmen for once. Its a loose-loose for my team, if we win Giant fans make injury excuses and if we loose we get barbequed by the media….

  41. pigskinswag says: Sep 7, 2011 10:51 AM

    I understand Cofield’s point, but at the same time it is a business. If I underperform on my job, or they can find someone to do what I do for a little less money, then I’m going to be out of a job. Is it fair? Not really. But then again, neither is life. I have overperformed my job based on my current salary. But I can’t refuse to go to work in hopes of getting a raise. If I do, then again, I’m out of a job. The reality is, in every business, you can be replaced. It is what it is.

  42. clavette says: Sep 7, 2011 10:54 AM

    im a huge fan of barry cofield, was very sad to see him leave but we all knew it was coming.

    the giants do what they feel is best for the organization and they obviously saw something with seubert and ohara and thats why they werent kept around longer. boss left for the money which i dont blame him at all.

    sorry barry you went to the redskins and you will see your fault in that within 1 season. shoulda went to a contender.

    you redskin fans that think your going to the playoffs are more dilusional than bills fans

  43. stunzeed5 says: Sep 7, 2011 11:09 AM

    bozosforall says:
    Sep 7, 2011 10:36 AM

    The team that Daniel Snyder owns? LMAO

    THE worst run organization in the NFL, with the most petty owner in all of sports
    ___________________________________

    The fact that you used “LMAO” in your inane response negates any chance of message-impact.

    Now go back to trolling Myspace; men are talking football in here.

  44. The Chu says: Sep 7, 2011 11:24 AM

    6thsense79:

    TLDR: I’d love to see the rules changed, for the sake of both the players and teams. But under the current structure, most players get contracts knowing the final year(s) are fairly undependable. That being said, I *do* think that players that grossly outperform contracts should be rewarded, but you have to acknowledge that the rewards come with risk. Thumbs up for a good discussion.

    Long version:

    I’d love to see the rules changed, for the sake of both the players and teams. Players should be able to have more stability, and teams still need some protection. But under the current structure, most players get contracts knowing the final year(s) are fairly undependable. Players that don’t should fire their agents. The fact that this happens doesn’t mean it should, but it’s one of the things that players need to be informed about.

    The timing with Garrard was awful, but he’s not really hurting for the money. He signed a 6 year/$60 million contract in 2008 with $18 mil guaranteed. Tallying up his first three years (until he got released), he made $34.425 mil over 3 years, including the guaranteed money.

    Thomas Jones signed a 4 year/$20 mil contract in 2007 with 12 mil guaranteed. Overall, he made $13.1 mil in just those two years in New York.

    That being said, I’m not using these numbers to justify their cuts. Jones has proven that he still had it the last few years, and the Jags don’t really need to save that money when there’s a salary floor (unless I’m wrong about that). They both deserved their current-at-the-time contracts, no more, no less.

    But there exist guys that get rewarded big contracts and end up having mediocre or worse years. Roy Williams pocketed $27 mil to $32 mil (depending on your source) for 2 mediocre years in Dallas. Albert Haynesworth pocketed $41 mil just in guaranteed money for all the headaches in Washington. If the teams weren’t able to do *something* about these contracts, they’d be screwed for the duration.

    I *do* think that players that grossly outperform contracts should be rewarded, but you have to acknowledge that the rewards come with risk.

    Thumbs up for a good discussion.

  45. m056432 says: Sep 7, 2011 11:46 AM

    Barry Cofield is a product of playing in between Tuck/Osi/Strahan for his career. He isn’t worth the money he got. And was Haynesworth not a big enough lesson not to pay a 4-3 DT to play in a 3-4. Good luck Washington.

  46. wferg1121 says: Sep 7, 2011 12:07 PM

    Barry was underrated, the problem is too much youth and talent at the D tackle position and cap issues. “Steve Smith, refused a contract offer that would have made him one of the highest paid recievers in the NFL. Steve and his agent wanted to test Free Agency.” ” Boss hit the lottery on his way back to NY” Direct quotes from John Mara… My oppinion is Osi did not out perform his contract, Osi was drafted in 03, the Giants redid his contract in December of 2005, 2007 probowl, courtesy of Andy Reid and Winston Justice (8 sacks) injured all of 2008, benched in 09, Denver ran at him 28 times( ask Warren Sapp). 2010 was a career year, for him,I would want a new contract too based on last years numbers. I think the Giants told him he needs to do it again. I don’t blame them.

  47. kelsocarpenter says: Sep 7, 2011 12:20 PM

    mo56432: Cofield played NT in college and actually really wants to play NT for the Redskins. At 27 years old, he’s worth every penny.

    Also, considering the injury bug the Giants are currently suffering from, my guess is they’ll be sorely missing Cofield right around week 5. Maybe even by this Sunday…

  48. 6thsense79 says: Sep 7, 2011 12:42 PM

    The Chu,

    I think we’re on the same page. The NFL out of necessity can’t guarantee contracts like the baseball or the NBA (judging from the financial info I’ve seen of some NBA teams I don’t think the NBA can gaurantee contracts like the NBA).

    What I find frustrating are the people who insist a contract is a contract in the NFL towards players that hold out but not management that terminates a contract before it ends.

    I do also want to point out that for every big money talent a team wastes millions in garaunteed money on there are talents such as a Desean Jackson or Chris Johnson that give the team pro bowl/all pro seasons on the cheap while playing under their rookie contract.

  49. tjstyles says: Sep 7, 2011 1:12 PM

    I personally think that teams should reward players for playing well. You can’t really ask for a player to be loyal to the team if the team is going to try and low-ball you and say “you signed the contract” when they outperform that contract.

    What drives me nuts are the people who scream “you signed a contract” when players hold out for a renegotiation. They DID sign a contract and under that contract the player has a RIGHT to hold out. If the owners don’t want the players to hold out, then rewrite the contracts to allow legal action against the players when they hold out. If not, stop bitching. Either renegotiate or play without the player. I don’t understand why the team should get all the leverage. Play poorly and you get cut. Play well and don’t get any new compensation. When I perform well and don’t get compensation, I find a new job with a new company. Since you can’t do that in pro sports, a holdout seems more than fair.

    That said, I would not hold out if I were in this situation. I would ask for a raise if I felt I deserved it. If they said no, I would simply tell them to draft my position in the next draft, because when my contract was up, my agent would not be talking with them. It stays private and gets the message across, and it does not hurt the players’ reputation or the rest of the team.

  50. crunchyclam says: Sep 7, 2011 1:37 PM

    The Chu says:
    Sep 7, 2011 8:46 AM
    I get that if a player over-performs on his contract, he feels like he should be paid more. But if he *under*-performs on his contract, does he ever think about negotiating down?
    —————————————————–

    That actually happens all time. A team will go to a player (usually an aging veteran) and tell them they need to lower their contract in lieu of getting cut. LaDanian Tomilson cut his salary in half for the Jets this year after management approached him.

  51. middletownmdman says: Sep 7, 2011 1:51 PM

    It’s a business. Plain and simple.

  52. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 7, 2011 2:09 PM

    ‎”It is what it is” — John Fox (c) 2001.

  53. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 7, 2011 2:09 PM

    joetoronto says: Sep 7, 2011 7:22 AM

    “Actually, some people would argue that the time to ask to do something is when you’ve completed all of your contract, not when you’ve completed two-thirds of your contract.”

    That’s the way it should be, contracts are essentially one way now, in favor of the player.
    ————–

    You mean in favor of the TEAM/OWNERS.

  54. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 7, 2011 2:10 PM

    zibikbeer says: Sep 7, 2011 7:26 AM

    The one that left me scratching my head was letting Shaun O’hara go. I’m still surprised no other team signed him yet.
    ————

    O’Hara was a turnstile the past two seasons. Did you even watch a single Giants game…

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!