Osi Umenyiora regrets the way he handled his business

AP

For years, Osi Umenyiora was in the news about his contract as much as his play.

Because of that, the New York Giants defensive end admits he’s concerned he’ll have to finish his career somewhere else.

Umenyiora said he had “a lot of regrets” about the way he’s handled his business, after signing a restructured one-year deal this summer, which could mark the end of his 10 years with the Giants.

“I completely went about it the wrong way and the way it looked at the particular time, nobody’s really going to understand from the player’s perspective and it’s asinine for me to expect them to,” Umenyiora said to Mike Garafolo of USA Today. “So I went about it wrongly, speaking out about it. All of those things should’ve been handled behind closed doors. I definitely regret that. A lot of people, when they see me, all they think about is that, all they talk about is contract and this and that.

“Forget I’ve been here 10 years and all of the stuff I’ve done here. All they think about is contract. I hate that some people have that impression. But there’s nobody to blame but myself. I could’ve definitely handled it a lot smarter than I did.”

Umenyiora said there have been no talks about anything to keep him with the Giants, but he’s thought for years he was on borrowed time.

“I don’t know,” he said of his future. “For the last three years I’ve thought it was my last year. ‘I’m out of here. They’re going to trade me.’ And yet I ended up right back here. So in my head, I can be like, ‘I’m going to a different team.’ But who knows what’s going to happen?”

Umenyiora said (and he might be right) that if he had dealt with the contract situation behind the scenes, something could have been worked out. “But the fact I came out and was open, speaking and talking all the time, that’s what pushed them into this situation,” he said.

The 31-year-old pass-rusher will now be able to find out what his market value actually is, albeit in a flat market.

He has six sacks this year in a reserve role, but given the scarcity of quality pass rush, he should still be able to find suitors.

But if he had kept his thoughts to himself, he might not have had to worry about that.

17 responses to “Osi Umenyiora regrets the way he handled his business

  1. Sounds like he’s trying to rehab his reputation in order to land a decent contract someplace else and not be labeled a whiner.

  2. I think, perhaps his timing was off as well. He had leverage after the FIRST SB, and that would have been the time to make demands. As for his future w/ Big Blue, I think he has figured things out and at 31-32, he will be gone next year.

  3. As much as I hate the Giants and Osi, this guy played his heart for them for 10 years. There never should have been a contract dispute. One of the greats to wear a Giants uniform. It is a shame that he did handle it poorly, but so did the Giants.

  4. I can think of plenty of teams that could use a pass rusher like Osi. He will have no trouble finding work. Will he get a monster contract? Probably not…but he will go somewhere.

    Probably end up in Oakland where players go to finish their career on a low note.

  5. I agree he should have kept his mouth shut, but the reality is that if the Giant’s wanted to keep him past this year they would have made him an offer; low as it may have been. He knows he won’t be back next year regardless of his big mouth.

  6. Please, PLEASE come to Jacksonville! You griped about your contract, big deal. You’re a 5-star player and a good human being off the field (check his mission work)….perfect fit with Tebow! (I know, I know!)

  7. As a Giants fan it was great having Osi over the past decade. I just wish he had shut his mouth and played. When had his mind in the game he was a dominate pass rusher. He is average at best now. He hasn’t sniffed a sack in weeks.

  8. This guy wanted a huge contract like he was Reggie White or something and the truth is he’s a slightly above average NFL DE. His best season was 2010 he had 14.5 sacks and 10 strips that was the only season he deserved a big pay day. Think he went over 10 sacks 1 or 2 other seasons. Sometimes these guys think they should be paid more than their worth.

  9. Refreshing to finally hear a player say those words, especialy one who whined as concistantly as this guy did.

    Now that he’s got it all sortd out and is about to be cut loose, perhaps he’d enjoy a year or two on the other side of Vince Wilfork?

  10. Osi is reflecting upon what has been an awful year for Giants pass rushers (relative to what the expectations were at the start of the season), and now he laments how he handled things. If the Giants were leading the league in sacks, he would not be making these comments – he would be awaiting his big pay day with a new team.

    And I think, in the right situation, he could still be a very impactful player.

  11. Some folks are dismissing his candor as opportunistic, but he’s absolutely right with his self-assessment. He’s also been a solid player for the Giants for the last decade. I wouldn’t mind him staying another year or two now that he understands.

  12. Osi’s drawback has always been his run defense. He may want to be mentioned in the same sentence as Lawrence Taylor and Michael Strahan as legendary NYG pass rushers, but LT and Strahan also knew how to chase down a running back and park him on his butt in a hurry.

    Don’t be too surprised if Osi doesn’t have to file a change-of-address form this off-season… the Jets have yet to find a top-tier D-line pass rusher since Rex has been there, and Osi would fit the bill.

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