Osi Umenyiora has released an email to the AP today and there are some very juicy nuggets we can all sink our teeth into. Evidently the purpose of the following is to set the record straight on his contract negotiations with the Giants and expose the ridiculousness of contracts in general pertaining to the Giants and the NFL.
“What really annoys me is the hypocrisy of people clamoring for my head for asking for a new deal or to be traded. Saying I have 2 years left on my deal. These contracts only mean something to us? Where is O’Hara? Where is Seubert? True inspirational football players. They were cut after being injured. They have years left on their deal.”
“Why is (Brandon) Jacobs asked to take a pay cut? He has years left on his deal. The fact is in the business we are in, if you get injured, or they feel like you underperformed, they cut you without hesitation. But if you clearly outplay your contract, and ask for something to be done, you’re a bad guy and not a team player. It’s ridiculous.”
“How does a guy who had one good year (no disrespect to Charles Johnson) sign a deal and make more than both me and (Justin) Tuck combined? It’s not right.”
“Everyone in this business understands that is exactly what it is. Business. And just like none of us get upset when our teammates are released due to business decisions, the teams also don’t get upset when something like this happens.”
Put yourself in Osi’s shoes for a minute — as a player trying to make a great living within his small window of opportunity. He’s got some good points here. But If you remember the 2008 Plaxico Burress holdout incident… even players that catch game winning Superbowl touchdowns don’t get paid easily from the Giants front office. And to the Giants point, they’re risking millions of dollars here — not tic tacs. Not everyone can take a flyer like the Redskins and pay defensive ends $100 million dollars and then just just trade them in for a 5th round draft pick two years down the road when things go south. The Giants are not that organization, and everyone knows that.
To me… Osi has some good points here but from what I gather Reese made his ‘promise’ to restructure the contract before Osi sat out the entire 2008 season with a knee injury and then rehabbed back into shape the entire 2009 season. He had a GREAT year in 2010, but is that enough to restructure a contract and give the guy an extra $60 million guaranteed? No, no it isn’t. As great as Osi Umenyiora is to the Giants, his ego needs to be checked here — and the Giants are not the Panthers grasping at straws to save a semblance of a season over the next decade of football. The Giants are a handful of plays away from the playoffs, and perhaps another championship run… a run that Osi was a part of in 2007 and should know damn well that it takes team play, not one-upsmanship and personal wealth — to deliver on a Superbowl win.
Brandon Jacobs gets it, Justin Tuck gets it, and Ahmad Bradshaw got it today. There’s nothing wrong with making money to the best of your ability but when you risk the entire lockroom for your personal paycheck, it ends badly for everyone. See the aforementioned Redskins if you want bullet points as to how that happens. It’s not pretty.