Earlier in the week, Umenyiora dispatched long-time agent Tony Agnone under the premise that he was unhappy with the progress being made with the Giants. Agnone, by the way, is a veteran agent who had brought many players to the Giants’ organization, Michael Strahan being just one. However, some have suggested that the Giants and Agnone failed to see eye to eye.
The story bouncing around now is that Agnone had struck a financially similar deal with Reese, though that agreement, which is not an extension, was heavily laden with incentives. On Monday, once the separation with Agnone is complete, Umenyiora is supposed to autograph the contract and return to work.
We don’t know if Osi and Giants general manager Jerry Reese sat together over a couple of Arnold Palmers on the veranda and hashed out the agreement or if there was another agent in the room, but we know the player is happy and is now more than willing to play out the season with a smile.
Again, something doesn’t feel right. It’s hard to imagine that Agnone couldn’t come up with a palatable deal between his client and the team where some other agent (or Osi himself?) managed to do it so quickly.
Reportedly, Umenyiora’s total earnings will jump from roughly $4 million to around $7.5 million (salary and bonus), meaning Reese and his staff had to do some serious salary cap surgery. There is also talk that this is nothing more than a restructured one-year deal with a voidable year in 2013, meaning he could still hit the road via free agency once the 2012 league year is over.
So, what gives?
On the surface, it sounds as though the Giants were willing to boost his salary based on performance — some suggested that he had out-played his contract, whatever that means — but were unwilling to commit to Osi for the long haul. Or, that he was unwilling to sign a long-term deal after all.
But are we really to believe that the Giants were willing to just about double his salary without protecting themselves at all?
For now, it seems as though Umenyiora is happy and doesn’t have to worry about being strapped to another lengthy contract that he might not like in two years. Sure, that’s a sarcastic way of looking at it and some might argue that he won’t be happy by mid-season when the reality of not having a long-term contract sets in.
One wonders: Was Agnone fighting for a longer commitment from the Giants and failed, which made Osi sore enough to let him go only to agree to a short-term raise in order to fill the checkbook while making himself more attractive to potential suitors who may come calling next March?
Did the Giants agree to boost his salary in order to placate him, therefore securing what is arguably the best defensive line in the league? He now has no excuses other than to be at the remaining OTAs and training camp as the Giants look to repeat as Super Bowl champs.
However, there is still one factor to keep in mind: The NFL recently moved the trade deadline from Week Six to Week Eight, and that might give the Giants time to make a true final decision on Osi’s future with the team. They will likely lose him after the 2012 season with nothing to show for it except the guaranteed raise they gave him.
Stranger things have happened, sports fans.