Osi Umenyiora realized Giants have other linemen to pay
Osi Umenyiora acknowledges he took a “substandard” deal to get peace from the New York Giants by restructuring his contract.
The bottom line is the defensive end is happy and he is likely entering his 10th and final season with the franchise.
Umenyiora came to terms with the club last week on a deal that raises his salary for this season from $3.925 million to between $7 million and $7.5 million, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
Basically, it’s better than nothing as Umenyiora came to the realization he will never receive the big long-term commitment from the club that he is seeking. Per Vacchiano, Umenyiora parted ways with agent Tony Agnone at the time after he advised him it was a “substandard” deal.
“I feel like something special is being built over here,” Umenyiora, 30, said. “And I just much rather be here than continue to fight and face all the negativity and criticism over really what amounted to be nothing.”
With the deal in place, Umenyiora attended the club’s voluntary offseason workout program for the first time today. A potentially ugly situation was resolved and now he is on board.
The Giants have big-money decisions to make in the next two years with fellow defensive linemen Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul and Umenyiora realized he wasn’t going to get that pay day. If he wants it, he’ll have to seek it in free agency.
“If I was them I’d do the same thing,” Umenyiora said. “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, no question. I don’t view it as a knock on me or a knock on the way I perform. All of us are all-pro players. You can’t pay us all like all-Pros.”
It’s interesting that the Giants acquiesced and paid Umenyiora more for just the one year. It sets a bit of a precedent other players may attempt to follow in the future. Clearly, the club views him as an integral part of a deep defensive front that went a long way toward leading the club to the Super Bowl title last season.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune