By Paul Dottino
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Go ahead and try to track the latest stock market reports, because that’s the kind of training you’d need to make sense out of the ongoing Osi Umenyiora saga at Giants training camp.
We’ll give you the simplified version here so as not to get your head spinning in too many different directions. It’s understood that Umenyiora wants a raise or a trade to a team that will add significant money to his contract. For the moment, let’s put aside the months-old miscommunication between the defensive end and GM Jerry Reese as to whether or not Umenyiora has met the requirements Reese asked for to fulfill the request.
As of Wednesday morning, Umenyiora’s agent, Tony Agnone, was in the third day of trying to facilitate a trade – with the Giants’ permission. The Giants stipulated they would need a first-round pick in return, but prospective trading partners balked at the price, given the lineman’s injury history entering his ninth NFL season.
The Giants closed Agnone’s window midday Wednesday and Umenyiora went to see Reese. It is believed there was a glimmer of hope that the open line of communication would lead to some “creative” ways toward a possible solution. But Umenyiora left the meeting with instructions from Reese to take the rest of the day off to reorganize his thoughts. It was assumed the defensive end would not come back to camp until Thursday, although it became even clearer that neither side was going to move off of its hard-line position.
Still with us? Good. Because this is where it gets real sticky. Under NFL rules, a franchise has the ability to suspend a player for “conduct detrimental to the team” – but the Giants continued to use show restraint in declining to use this hammer.
Later in the day, Umenyiora returned in time to attend practice, but rode a stationary bike and watched from the sideline – as he has done since he reported Saturday night in an attempt to avoid accumulating fines. Coach Tom Coughlin expressed optimism over seeing Umenyiora, who it’s believed remains of a frame of mind that he will never take another snap for the Giants.
Now what? If neither side changes its stance and Umenyiora does not participate in practice, it’s likely the Giants will break out the “conduct” hammer and suspend the two-time All-Pro lineman, who probably would file a grievance through the now-reforming players’ union. Of course, the Giants always could facilitate a trade of their own or decide to redo his contract. Or Umenyiora could decide he’d rather play than go through this battle. Or maybe something entirely out of left field comes to fruition – and why not, the way things have gone thus far?
CAMP NOTES: The Giants signed former Seahawks OT Stacy Andrews (brother of former Giants OL Shawn Andrews) to provide competition for first-year starting LT William Beatty. … DL Mathias Kiwanuka said he was grateful for the chance to return to the Giants after a career-threatening neck injury and hopes to re-establish his value this season. .. Free agent TE Kevin Boss visited the Raiders and took a physical. … Practice was forced inside the fieldhouse by rain for the first time this summer. … The team set up a hotline for fans seeking information about training camp practices: 201-935-8111, ext. 9385
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