Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora had a good postseason, recording 3.5 sacks and helping his team win the Super Bowl. But that doesn’t mean he’s happy with his situation.
Umenyiora was not in the starting lineup for any of the Giants’ four postseason games, and even though he got plenty of playing time behind Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul in the Giants’ defensive line rotation, he says that’s not enough.
“I don’t like being a backup, I can tell you that,” Umenyiora told the New York Daily News. “It worked for us last year, but I was coming of an injury or whatever. But I see myself as a starter in the NFL. I see myself as a Pro Bowl type player. That’s the way I see myself.”
Umenyiora said he “didn’t complain” last season, and “I’m not complaining now.” But he might start complaining if he spends time on the bench behind Tuck and Pierre-Paul this year.
“I don’t like being on the bench,” Umenyiora said. “I’m not OK with that.”
NFL teams frequently rotate their defensive linemen to keep everyone fresh, and for the Giants, it’s great that they have three defensive ends who are good enough to start. At least, it would be great if they could do it and keep everyone happy. Umenyiora, however, won’t be happy if he’s looking up at anyone else on the depth chart.
Umenyiora is also unhappy with his contract, which pays him $3.975 million this season. He is not expected to participate in the team’s voluntary offseason program, which begins on Monday. There’s been talk that the Giants might trade Umenyiora, but the best way for Umenyiora to get what he wants may be to play out the final year of his deal, play well, and then hit free agency next year and find some other team that’s willing to make him a starter, and pay him like a starter.