Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora says that General Manager Jerry Reese is trying to make him “look like a greedy pig” for turning down the team’s contract offers. But Reese says he has no hard feelings toward Umenyiora.
“I don’t carry grudges. That is the offseason, that is part of the job,” Reese said on 98.7 ESPN Radio, via the Star-Ledger. “In the offseason there is always some controversy about contracts. It is not just one person, it can be several different people with contract situations. That is part of my job, it is never personal, I don’t think it is personal with respect to players and it definitely is not personal with respect to me. It is just part of the business. We will get through this and we will see what happens moving forward. It is part of the business. It is not a big problem for me to have guys say some things. I think sometimes some people say things that they obviously really don’t mean. Everybody is trying to make as much money as they can for themselves and their families and everybody understands that and it is not personal.”
Reese also reiterated what he said before Umenyiora offered his most recent complaint, saying that the Giants believe they’ll be a better team if they have Umenyiora on the roster this season. But they’re also not ruling out trading him.
“I’m not going to discuss Osi’s contract situation with you guys. I can say this to you, though: the New York Giants are a better football team with Osi Umenyiora on our team,” Reese said. “We respect him as a football player. Our goal is to have Osi play football with the New York Giants and retire as a Giant. That is what we would like to do first. All of our options are open as I have said before but Osi makes us a better football team, I do know that.”
At the moment it appears that Umenyiora will play out the final year of the seven-year contract he signed in 2005, which gives him a base salary this season of $3.975 million. That would allow Umenyiora to test free agency in a year, at the age of 31, and see if any team will make him happier than the Giants.