The 2012 NFL Draft is nearly upon us, and the excitement is almost too much to bare. The New York Giants will go great lengths to make sure they find players who are both ready and able to help defend their Super Bowl title.
But how willing are the Giants to part ways with someone who aided in two Super Bowl championships, made multiple Pro Bowls and averaged nearly one sack per game in 2011?
For the fan’s sake, I hope very much so.
Osi Umenyiora signed one of the biggest contracts ever when he dotted the line on his seven year extension in 2005. Since then the NFL’s revenues have blossomed and player contracts have gone through the roof.
Unhappy that he was not making as much money as his defensive equals, he started to pout for another extension. He has been putting up a stink since 2009, claiming he deserves more money for his production. After a knee injury took him out of the entire 2008 season, I would beg to differ.
Osi has been stirring up controversy over the years, and acted like a child under Bill Sheridan in 2009. The two butted heads, Osi refused to give 100 percent effort, ended up being benched in favor of Mathias Kiwanuka, and ended the year with just seven sacks in 16 games,
He got back to his normal self in 2010, ending with 11.5 sacks and 10 sack/fumbles, tied for the most in NFL history. Though in the off season he would not only claim Jerry Reese lied to him about a contract extension, but he would name himself in the lawsuit from the players against the NFL during the painful lockout.
Osi claimed that Reese told him if he were playing at a high level in the years after his knee injury, he would get a contract extension after the 2010 season. Whoever you choose to believe is irrelevant, the bottom line is the ploy didn’t work. Osi protested with a mini-hold out, the Giants called his bluff, and Osi returned to action.
In the games he was healthy, he looked like he had returned to 2005 form when his 14.5 sacks led the NFC. In 2011 he recorded nine sacks in the nine regular season games he played, and 3.5 in their four playoff games.
Well that didn’t last long, as he recently told reporters he is not OK with a backup role, and is not reporting to the team’s voluntary workouts that started Monday.
Reports have surfaced that there have been talks between the Giants and Osi for a contract extension. BIG MISTAKE. The Giants need to extrapolate whatever value out of this guy that they can.
Do they really believe Osi will except anything less than a monster deal? The cap situation is unclear, but they certainly cannot afford to give him a raise and expect to sign all of their rookies.
After the emotional pain Osi manifested he went through last off season, he’ll be wanting to make the Giants pay through the nose. He told reporters he’s as healthy as ever—I’d say the same if I were after big buck$.
If Reese pulls off a miracle and gets Osi to agree to a deal that does not break the bank, I’m all for it. The guy has obviously been one of the premier pass rushers in the game.
Cost is everything. Not only the dollars and cents, but this nonsense about not being the backup could be the end of him. If he’s going to cause problems in the locker room, there is no place for that kind of debauchery.
In a vacuum, you’d obviously take production over potential as the Giants would probably get a 2nd and 5th round pick for Osi, Pass rushers are of high value in the evolving NFL, but who knows if the Giants actually hit on a pick.
However, the money it would cost to keep Osi around would outweigh the benefits. There are plenty of talented pass rushers in this year’s draft that could replace him.
When players squabble with management, teammates generally have each other’s backs. But when you go to the media and basically say you deserve to start over two proven studs (Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck), that fabricates tension that would not have been there otherwise.
Reese needs to do this team a favor and trade Osi before it blows up in his face.
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