Osi Umenyiora has found himself in a difficult spot. Of course the way the information has leaked out has done him no favors, but all in all it really has left him in a bad place.
First we heard that Osi was joining the lawsuit against the owners claiming unfair labor practices and broken promises. This was a pure case of the union using it’s players to try and move their court cases forward. It was a bust. For anyone who actually read the affadavit and not just the title, it was clear that the Giants had broken no promises and that in fact were living up to exactly what they had stated. Step two was the one day holdout. Hard to take anyone serious about holding out when before the info even gets out that you are indeed not showing up, you show up at camp. The Union got Osi here too, since they agreed to an increase to $30,000 a day for missing the new limited camp time. Then the proclamation that Osi would never speak to GM Jerry Reese again came to light, and was immediately followed by the news that they had a “good” meeting that night. The next step was the always popular demand for a trade. This too was granted to Osi, and he and his agent have found no takers at the price the Giants AND Osi are asking. Don’t forget the number one draft pick must be accompanied by a new contract for Osi which would be in the neighborhood of 10 million a year for the next 5 years or so. Now comes word of the “Hope” that Osi can remain a Giant somehow. Wow…quite a trip.
Here is the problem with Osi’s argument and stance.
Players want to see themselves as individuals, not as parts of a team. Yes, some guy in Carolina just got paid to play Osi’s position for more money that he and Tuck make together. Who cares. The owners do not look at players and how other owners value them. It is your intrinsic value to your team at that moment that counts. Osi may be ten times the player compared to others, but it doesn’t mean you get 10 times the money. G.M.’s and owners value different positions in different ways, and it is at their discretion that they pay those values. Each team has a plan and an amount of money that can be dedicated to each spot. Part two of Osi’s problem is that the Union just negotiated a new CBA with the league. A deal that included a hard salary cap, a rookie wage scale that makes it even more enticing to keep a young talent over an ailing veteran,and makes high draft picks more valuable than before, and the above mentioned larger fines for missing days of training camp. Osi and his agent have found themselves in no mans land thanks in large part to their own Unions dealings.
I understand that owners have all the power to simply release or cut a player that either refuses to “re-structure” (read as pay cut) his contract, or has outlived their usefulness. I agree with Osi that it is a nasty business at times. I agree with Osi that the owners have an out clause whereas players are seen as ungrateful greedy holdouts. However, in the real world, 7 million dollars a year over the next two years is not chicken feed, and certainly not going to gain you any sympathy. The fact is that Osi’s Union and representatives are failing him, and he can only do himself more harm by taking stances he can’t live with himself. Go in to the owner, agree to an extension that they can afford, and get back on the field and prove you are worth what you claim if you want to stay. If you want out, then play under your current deal, be a beast, and get traded in the off-season. Either way the fans will love you and welcome you back, but sitting on a bike all training camp will only get you a seat next to Tiki at the next re-union.
Speaking of Tiki…….well we’ll save that for the next rant!