It’s time to start getting used to a new Osi Umenyiora.
The Giants defensive end has spent most of the last few years as a reliable source for complaints. The popular refrains were that he wasn’t happy with his contract, he wasn’t happy coming off the bench and he wasn’t 100 percent physically. This year, though, Umenyiora has a new contract that is paying him more this year and making him a free agent after the season.
The complaints about his status in the defensive line pecking order disappeared once the contract was signed. And now Umenyiora is saying that he’s healthy as training camp starts for the first time since 2006.
“Yeah, health (matters), for sure,” Umenyiora said, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “Well I hope so because these last couple of years I’ve been playing with little nagging things here and there. But now for the first time in a while I feel relatively healthy and I hope I’m able to maintain that throughout the year.”
Umenyiora has had 40.5 sacks in his four seasons since 2006 (he missed all of 2008 with a knee injury), which makes you wonder what he would have done if he wasn’t beset by physical problems. If he can remain healthy this year, we might find out and that would likely make Umenyiora the owner of a lavish new contract next offseason. It probably won’t come from the Giants, who have to pay several younger players like defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, but it doesn’t sound like the new Umenyiora will be complaining about that.