Osi Umenyiora was a no-show as the New York Giants begin offseason team activities, or OTA’s. OTA’s are technically voluntary as a way to get some work in before training camp arrives. It is no shock that Umenyiora, who has had a long-running feud with general manager Jerry Reese over his contract, didn’t show up.
Last season, Umenyiora threatened to holdout if he were not given a new contract. Reese offered him one, laden with incentives, but Osi turned it down. Umenyiora was also recently offered another contract by Reese, one that, according to Osi, contained only half of the guaranteed money the Giants recently gave defensive end/linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka.
The Osi Umenyiora feud with Jerry Reese has been nothing more than a sideshow. It didn’t affect Osi getting on the field last season when he was healthy and contributing to a Super Bowl Championship. It probably won’t affect him this year either. Reese has publicly stated the plan is for the Giants to re-sign Osi before he becomes a free agent after his current 7-year, $41 million deal runs out.
The Giants need Osi as much as Osi needs the Giants. The Giants defensive line is the strength of their defense and Osi has been an integral part of that since he was drafted in 2003. Osi, who is 30 years-old, is no spring chicken anymore and the depth the Giants possess on the line allow Osi to rotate out with younger players thereby keeping him fresh throughout the game and season. If he were to leave as a free agent he would probably be asked to be an every-down player, something that he would not excel at in my opinion. Pairing Osi with pass rushers in Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul gives the Giants a formidable pass rush up front. The Giants currently lack the depth they once did on the defensive line, thereby making Osi Umenyiora an integral piece of the defense as the Giants try to defend their Super Bowl Championship.
Osi’s absence shouldn’t surprise anyone. I have a feeling the Giants and Osi will get something done before he becomes a free agent.