It’s a bit strange to see the quotes attributed to Osi Umenyiora coming out of Giants practice on Monday.
There’s no rancor to anything coming out of the defensive end’s mouth on his first day practicing with the team since restructuring his contract. Umenyior isn’t calling General Manager Jerry Reese a liar and no one is accusing anyone of being a greedy pig, which is very different from life before the new deal was struck. If the Giants’ plan for giving Umenyiora more money this season was to make the air around his locker a bit less toxic, they have accomplished their mission.
According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, Umenyiora no longer has any problem serving as a backup to Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul. That had been a consistent area of complaint for Umenyiora, as had the fact that the Giants were choosing to give bigger money to other players on the defense. Umenyiora’s not sweating that anymore either.
“If I was them I’d do the same thing. Obviously you have Tuck who is the face of the franchise, and then you have JPP who’s a young phenom. You know, obviously I’m still a very good football player but you can’t pay all of us. You can’t pay us all that kind of money. There’s just no way you can do that. You’re going to hamstring your franchise. So I would make the exact same decisions if I was them.”
Umenyiora also tried selling the idea that he was neither unhappy nor disgruntled with the Giants as he tried to get more money from them over the last few years. If that’s the case, Hollywood should be ringing Osi immediately because he played the part of unhappy, disgruntled defensive end with a believability that Daniel Day-Lewis couldn’t begin to approach.
Umenyiora also said, via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com, that he turned down a multi-year deal offered by the Giants so that he could become a free agent after this season. He also said a disagreement over that course of action led him to part with agent Tony Agnone, although Umenyiora said that he plans to rehire him now that his deal has been signed.