NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – The Giants giveth and the Giants taketh away.
In an e-mail sent Wednesday to Osi Umenyiora’s agent Tony Agnone, the Giants ordered him to cease speaking to other teams about a trade, which would require that the Giants receive a first-round draft pick as compensation. Umenyiora, dissatisfied with a current contract that will pay him $7.1 million over the remaining two seasons of a six-year, $41 million extension he signed in 2005, was reportedly looking for a six-year deal in excess of $10 million per year.
Why the sudden about-face? Umenyiora’s camp was unable to find a suitable deal, reported the Newark Star-Ledger’s Mike Garafolo.
Now the Giants may have to play chicken with a very unhappy defensive end.
Unless Giants general manager Jerry Reese changes his mind again, the Giants will either negotiate a new agreement with Umenyiora or force him to accept his current deal and play.
“Confirmed,” WFAN’s Paul Dottino tweeted. “Ledger report that the window for (Umenyiora’s) agent to seek a trade has closed.”
The New York Post reported that a meeting between Umenyiora, his agent, and the front office was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
Conflicting reports had surfaced on Wednesday regarding the Giants’ demands for Umenyiora. The Baltimore Sun reported Big Blue lowered their asking price to a second-round pick, though according to the Star-Ledger, Agnone “said … he’s unaware of a change.”
The Daily News reported that the Rams, Seahawks, Ravens, Broncos and Chargers were all interested in Umenyiora — but not for the Giants’ asking price. If New York would be willing to accept a second-round pick, however, one source told the paper: “They could make a deal right now.”
One agent removed from the situation told The Post that the Giants have “no shot” at getting a first rounder, adding “None whatsoever — zero.”
Umenyiora said in an affidavit in an antitrust suit during the lockout that Reese agreed to redo his contract if he had a good season in 2010.
Reese has refused to discuss what he said to Umenyiora.
Despite being cleared to practice following offseason hip surgery, Umenyiora has stayed off the practice field but has attended team meetings. He missed the first day of training camp and was fined $30,000.
Umenyiora’s situation has left his teammates in a quandary, but at the same time they maintained they were confident they had the right personnel to compensate for any eventuality. Also, the front office went through one preventive measure Tuesday when former Rams and Redskins pass rusher Andre Carter worked out for the team.
Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, who re-signed with the Giants for two years and $3.25 million after testing the free agent market, said he understood Umenyiora’s dilemma.
“I don’t ever want to get into or discuss anybody else’s financial situation,” Kiwanuka said. “He’s in the building, and obviously we’d love to have him on the field.”
Kiwanuka pointed to himself as a walking example of why a player like Umenyiora must get the best deal he can for himself. Kiwanuka missed all but three games last season with a career-threatening neck injury. That became a major factor in the lack of interest in him in the NFL’s condensed free agent period.
Had he stayed healthy, Kiwanuka could have been a premier free agent.
“But you look on the other side of that coin, and I might not have been playing football,” Kiwanuka said. “I’m definitely the example. (Health) is definitely a concern to every player out there. Coaches always say you never know when it’s going to be your last snap. So when it comes time for business, that’s something you always have to consider.”
Linebacker Michael Boley pointed to the presence of second-year player Jason Pierre-Paul as a quick remedy if Umenyiora continues to stay off the field.
“He’s a tremendous athlete,” Boley said of the 6-foot-5, 270-pound Pierre-Paul, who finished third on the team last year with 4½ sacks as a rookie. “To run the way he does at his size, and he’s strong at that, he can make a lot of plays for us.”
What should the Giants do with Osi? Sound off in the comments below…
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