This had been a quiet offseason for Osi Umenyiora, for once. That’s about to change.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Umenyiora will file a sworn affidavit next month as part of the the players’ antitrust lawsuit against the NFL.
Schefter also says the Giants face a “critical decision” regarding Umenyiora, who has two years left on his deal and has moved out of his New Jersey home with plans to live in Atlanta. Umenyiora is “no longer confident” he’ll get a contract extension in New York.
We’re not sure the Giants face much of a decision. Umenyiora is under contract for two more years at relatively low prices. They’ll likely keep him and he doesn’t have much of a choice in the matter.
Of course, Umeyniora’s statements could further strain the relationship between the two sides. Here is a portion of the affadavit, relating a meeting between Umenyiora and G.M. Jerry Reese.
“After about an hour of discussing my current contract, as well as the contracts of other defensive ends currently playing in the National Football League, Mr. Reese told me that two years from the start of the 2008 league year, if I was currently playing at a high level, we’d either renegotiate my current contract so that it would be equal to that of the top five defensive ends playing or I would be traded to a team that would do that,” Umenyiora said.
“Before leaving the meeting, I asked Mr. Reese twice if he was absolutely sure that would be the case. He then told me that he was an honest and church-going man and that he would not lie, which I believed to the be the case. Under the penalty of perjury these statements are true and accurate.”
The NFLPA* likely chose Umenyiora as one of the ten plaintiffs in their antitrust case just for this testimony, in order to show the players have suffered “irreparable harm.”
Our question: Why is this coming out now?
Is Umenyiora trying to signal interested trade partners that he wants out? Or is it being used to further the player’s antitrust case?
No matter the reason, the timing is odd considering the tenuous progress and trust being built at the moment between the NFL and NFLPA* at the moment.