NEW YORK (WFAN) — To hold out or not to hold out?
Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora is a bargain with one season at $3.975 million remaining on his seven-year contract. And he knows it.
He wants a long-term extension, and it could cost him training camp — or possibly his future with New York. Umenyiora joined WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on Wednesday to discuss what could come next.
When asked if he would wear a Giants jersey this season without some form of contract change, Umenyiora replied, “Man, I never want to say never. But I just doubt, I seriously doubt that that’s gonna be the case. I doubt that would happen.”
Listen: Boomer & Carton with Umenyiora
The Giants, who have been down this road before, could pay him, trade him or do nothing and hope the veteran doesn’t hold out.
Umenyiora said he’s had “preliminary discussions” with the team, though there’s no “imminent” change on the way. He wouldn’t commit when asked if he could see himself finishing his career in New York.
“Ah man, I can’t answer that question,” he said. “I hope so, but you really never know what’s gonna happen here in these next couple of days.”
Umenyiora didn’t sound too thrilled when faced with this what-if scenario: a two-year extension at $9 million guaranteed, on top of his contract for 2012.
“I don’t know how I’m supposed to (sign that deal). I don’t know how I can,” he said. “Obviously, you see Trent Cole doing what he did, signing his extension. You see Robert Mathis, he’s 31 years old, who I feel like I’m just as good as. You see the numbers that they signed, I don’t see how I can sign that deal.”
Aside from his contract woes, the 30-year-old also wants to reclaim his job as a starter, though he’d reluctantly settle for the role of good soldier.
“Whatever the team wants me to do is what I’m gonna be willing to do,” Umenyiora said. “Wherever they feel like playing me is where I’m gonna play. But I definitely feel like I’m an every-down defensive end.”
Umenyiora had 12.5 sacks last season, including the playoffs. He missed the first three games of the regular season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in mid-August.
The defensive end unsuccessfully tried to force a trade or a new deal during the preseason, after he claimed in an affidavit that Giants general manager Jerry Reese reneged on an earlier promise to restructure his contract.
Do you think the Giants should just pay the man? Sound off in the comments below…