Osi Returns To Practice Despite ‘Unacceptable’ Offer From Giants

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Having given up his bid for a new contract, two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora has practiced with the New York Giants for the first time since training camp opened last month.

The 29-year-old Umenyiora worked with the first team defense although he did split snaps at right end with second-year pro Jason Pierre Paul on Monday.

The two-time Pro Bowl defensive end wouldn’t comment to the press before his first day back at Giants practice.

Umenyiora said in an email to The Associated Press that he will play this season under the terms of his current contract.

“No deal has been reworked,” Umenyiora told the AP on Sunday. “What has been offered has been unacceptable and shows they don’t really respect the fact I sacrifice my health for the franchise.”

Umenyiora said the Giants offered to put incentives in his contract, which will pay him $7.1 million over the next two seasons, but he rejected them.

“I will play under my current deal because I love and respect my coaches, my teammates, the fans, and myself,” he said. “Not for those incentives.”

Umenyiora didn’t say how much money the team offered in incentives.

The nine-year NFL veteran hasn’t practiced since reporting to training camp on July 30, a day late. He failed to report on time because he alleged that general manager Jerry Reese told him the team would rework his contract.

Reese has refused to discuss what was said between them.

The 29-year-old Umenyiora shared the team lead with 11.5 sacks last season and he had a league-high 10 forced fumbles.

The Giants told Umenyiora not to practice after he reported to training camp. A couple of days later they gave his agent, Tony Agnone, permission to seek a trade, provided they got a first-round draft pick in return.

The Giants then told Agnone to stop looking a few days later.

Umenyiora, who was part of a players antitrust suit against the NFL during the recent lockout, gave indications on Wednesday that he might practice soon when he did some work with trainers simulating snaps. He went to Atlanta on Thursday and got a second opinion on his injured knee.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said on Sunday that team doctors cleared Umenyiora for practice, and hours later Umenyiora told the AP that he would take the field on Monday.

“I will play under my old deal,” Umenyiora said.

Umenyiora’s decision came one day after second-year defensive end pro Jason Pierre-Paul recorded two sacks and played an excellent game in the Giants’ 20-10 loss to Carolina in the preseason opener.

“JPP obviously played well,” Coughlin said. “He was a force with two sacks and he missed another one. He made some tackles and was a force against a good left tackle so I was pleased with the way he played.”

Is Osi making the right move? Sound off in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Ish Falcon

    This is exactly what is wrong with the world today. When Osi signed his contract, no one had a gun to his head. He knew what he was getting, now shut up and play. You should be ashamed of yourself, especially with so many people out of work. I would like to ask Osi a question? If he would have had an off year in 2010, would he have given back some of his money? I think not and this is coming from a Giants fan.

  • Karen S

    another selfish athlete with that sense of “ent’i’tlement.” you have a signed contract. used to be a “man” was as good as his word. holding out. respect your contract which is signed thru a certain date. have your agent work for you while you work on increasing your value to management and your teammates. a 9% national unemployment rate, and you are whining! i was out of work for over a year. try being in the real world. i respect that you have a talent, but, would you like some cheese with your whine?

  • Robert Richardson

    I am glad that Osi is back in camp. He is an integral part of Big Blue D. Unfortunately his situation reiterates the business side of football. Anyone’s word means nothing, you have to get them to sign on the dotted line. He seems like such a good guy and team mate, too bad he has to suffer this “football reality”. I don’t blame him for trying to get a better deal because when you get hurt and can’t play “they” will discard you without a second thought.

  • Les Weyant

    In my memory, no disgruntled NFL player has excelled i\on the field.

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