Osi responds to Jerry's extension talk

April, 30, 2012
After general manager Jerry Reese said on Saturday that the Giants have offered Osi Umenyiora an extension two years in a row, the defensive end responded by saying it was for “half” of the guaranteed money that Mathias Kiwanuka recently received in an extension he signed with the Super Bowl champs.

“Last year I was offered incentives,” Umenyiora wrote in an email to the New York Daily News. “This year they offered me in guaranteed money, HALF of what they just gave Kiwi guaranteed. HALF. I’m not making that up.”

“Then Jerry tells the world they offered me an extension and I turned it down,” he continued. “And I look like a greedy pig for turning it down. Hilarious.”

Here we go again. The situation between Umenyiora and Reese is starting to simmer again. We'll have to see how it all plays out and what Umenyiora's game plan is going to be if he does not have a new deal by training camp.

Umenyiora was happy for Kiwanuka after seeing his friend and teammate recently sign a three-year contract extension through 2015 worth $21.75 million with $10.95 million in guaranteed money. But he wasn't thrilled to see an extension offer made to him with guarantees worth half of what Kiwanuka received.

Umenyiora is entering the final year of his contract worth just under $4 million. He wants to remain with the team but does not want to play under his current deal. He has long been seeking a new contract to replace the seven-year, $41 million contract he signed in 2005. Umenyiora would like to be rewarded with an extension in the neighborhood of the one recently signed by Philadelphia’s Trent Cole and Indianapolis’ Robert Mathis.

Cole signed a four-year extension worth $48.525 million, including $15 million guaranteed. Mathis’ new four-year extension is worth $36 million with $17 million guaranteed.

Umenyiora said last week that he did not believe the Giants would be able to pay him the extension he is seeking since the Giants will have to eventually take care of several young players like Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul.

He suggested that the Giants should see if they could trade him in the draft for perhaps a pick in return. But the Giants did not deal him nor did they draft a defensive end either. When asked if he considered dealing Umenyiora, Reese said “all options are open.”

What are Umenyiora's options if he does not receive an extension? Last year, Umenyiora alleged that Reese promised him a new contract in an affidavit filed on behalf of the players' lawsuit against the NFL during the lockout. He sat out practice for the first two weeks of training camp and was briefly allowed to seek a trade for a first-round pick. The defensive end turned down the Giants' offer to add incentives to his deal and eventually decided to undergo minor knee surgery. He returned to have 12.5 sacks in 13 games -– including the Giants’ Super Bowl postseason run.

Umenyiora said last Wednesday that he did not know what he will do if he doesn't have a new deal entering camp. Losing Umenyiora doesn't just hurt from a production standpoint but it hurts the team's depth at defensive end. They have Justin Tuck, Pierre-Paul and linebacker/defensive end Kiwanuka. But Dave Tollefson signed with Oakland in free agency. The Giants do have Justin Trattou, a young defensive end they like.

"So what do I do? Do I suck it up and come back and put my tail between legs like I've always done for these last couple of years," Umenyiora asked. "Do I do that again this year? Or do I go out there and try to do what's best for me one time? It's unfortunate that it's come to this but it's the business that we are in."
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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