The discord between the defending Super Bowl champs and defensive end Osi Umenyiora has ended, and one former player who knows a thing or two about discord with the franchise thinks it shouldn’t have.
Former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan thinks that current Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora is still getting screwed, even after getting a new deal for 2012.
“To be honest with you, it’s flat-out robbery,” Strahan told Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.
“If it were me, I would have sat at home and I wouldn’t have played,’’ Strahan said. “That’s just me. I’ve threatened to do that in my time and I ended up getting what I wanted. Osi’s a different mindset than me. I’m probably a little more, ‘I don’t care what people think.’”
Of course, the last time Strahan wanted more money (which also was the first time Osi wanted more money), Strahan held out, racking up more than $500,000 in fines. When Strahan finally returned, he didn’t get an increase in his $4 million salary. All he received was an undisclosed reduction in the amount of his total fine.
Strahan seems to realize that, in the end, all that matters is whether Osi is happy. “If he played well under the previous situations of being unhappy to being somewhat happy now, I’m sure he’ll do great,” Strahan said.
It’s not surprising that Strahan regards Osi’s adjusted deal, which increases his 2012 pay from $3.975 million to $7 million, as less than Osi deserves. Strahan’s agent during his playing days was Tony Agnone, and Agnone temporarily stepped aside from the representation of Umenyiora because Agnone believed, as Strahan does, that the compromise doesn’t properly compensate the player.
The fact that Strahan can casually sound off about his belief that the team is screwing Umenyiora demonstrates how much equity he has with Giants fans. Few if any will criticize Strahan for trying to stir up trouble where longstanding trouble finally had been solved.
If any other former Giants player had said what Strahan said (e.g., Tiki Barber), Giants fans would have been flabbergasted.