Osi Umenyiora says Giants haven't lived up to their word
From the sounds of things, Osi Umenyiora has no plans to return to the New York Giants.
One would think that a sworn affadavit in federal court against the organization would be similar to burning the last bridge for the defensive end. Hey, if it gets him out of the Big Apple, he’ll probably be happy.
Umenyiora testified under oath that Giants general manager Jerry Reese promised him a contract extension that he’s failed to deliver, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The affadavit, according to Schefter, reads:
“In early April 2008, approximately two weeks before the start of the New York Giants offseason conditioning program, I, Osi Umenyiora, had a meeting with the general manager of the New York Giants, Mr. 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.
“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.”
This, per Schefter’s report, is a key reason why the NFL sought out Umenyiora as a plantiff in the Tom Brady case. Umenyiora was one of the more high-profile players to appear at the appeals hearing in the 8th Circuit Court in St. Louis earlier this month.
Umenyiora, 29, has two years remaining on the contract he signed in 2005. The Giants owe him $3.5 million this coming season. Will they choose to keep him around at that price tag, or now will they reverse course and release him? It doesn’t sound like Umenyiora will be a happy camper if he’s still on the team’s roster long after the lockout is ended. Of course, maybe a pay day could improve his outlook.
This serves as a clear example of why in the NFL, talk can be cheap too. Whether or not Reese did promise him the money, we don’t know. Umenyiora's level of play is open to debate. He's coming off hip surgery from an injury that impacted his performance last season. He had 11 sacks in 2009. How much does he have left in the tank?
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune