Posted by Daniel Kahaner on 22nd February 2012
2011’s training camp began with turmoil between Osi Umenyiora and the New York Giants, the team he has played for his entire career.
Entering 2011, Umenyiora had 2 years remaining on his contract, and was not happy about the amount of money the Giants were paying him for his services, and has been looking for a new deal for quite some time. Now that he only has one year left on his contract, the Giants will need to make a decision on the pro-bowl defensive end sooner rather than later.
There is no question that Umenyiora is a key component of the Giants pass rush, but there are several questions surrounding his future with the team. The emergence of Jason Pierre-Paul has made many fans take Umenyiora for granted somewhat, and many feel that letting him go wouldn’t be the end of the world being that Pierre-Paul is in the process of becoming one of the league’s best pass rushers.
However, there is no debate that the combination of Umenyiora, Pierre-Paul, and Justin Tuck give the Giants the best possible defensive front they could have, and the best chance to win consistently. It would behoove the Giants to rework Umenyiora’s contract and sign him to a long term deal following the conclusion of the 2012-2013 campaign, as his presence on the defensive line would keep the Giants pass rush near the top of the NFL for many years to come.
But as we all know, the NFL is a business. Umenyiora will demand a high price to stay in New York, and many feel that Pierre-Paul is good enough to replace the perennial pro-bowler as a full time starter. The Giants could also get a lot in return for Umenyiora should they trade him before the start of the 2012 season, as his stock is very high after his contributions to the team’s magical Super Bowl run.
It is hard to imagine Umenyiora having the same type of success elsewhere, as the Giants’ philosophy has always been defense first, especially on the front line with other dangerous pass rushers such as Tuck and Pierre-Paul, but there is no question that many teams will be lining up to acquire Umenyiora should he become available either in free agency or via trade. And at the end of the day, as teammate Antrel Rolle likes to say, players tend to look out for themselves before the good of the team.
So what will happen with Umenyiora? The answer is unclear as of this moment, but there is no question that GM Jerry Reese will do everything in his power to ensure that Umenyiora will be chasing quarterbacks while wearing a blue uniform for the rest of his career. If the price is right.