NEW YORK (WFAN) — Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora has just $3.975 million remaining on his seven-year contract.
It’s a bargain. He knows it, and apparently so does Justin Tuck.
“It’s hard. He signed a contract and I believe in abiding by that contract,” Tuck told CBS Sports’ Jim Rome on Tuesday. “But also I think he’s outplayed that contract. And with today’s market with how some of these defensive ends are getting paid lots of money, I think he deserves to get paid.”
Umenyiora has been outspoken this offseason about his contract status, and so far has been a no-show for Giants OTAs. He could hold out of training camp in Albany if the impasse can’t be resolved.
“He’s very important,” Tuck said on the “ROME” show. “He’s a great defensive end, and has had a very successful career with the Giants. … We know each other very well, know how to play off each other, had a lot of success together.”
Umenyiora unsuccessfully tried to force a trade or a new deal last year, after he claimed in an affidavit that Giants general manager Reese reneged on an earlier promise to restructure his contract. He had 12.5 sacks last season, including the playoffs, after staging a short training camp holdout and then missing the first three games of the regular season due to arthroscopic knee surgery.
The contract drama started anew just days after the Giants’ Super Bowl win in February, when teammate Jason Pierre-Paul said New York should give Osi “what he wants, man.”
Umenyiora said in April that he’s not just looking for an extension — he’d also like his starting job back. The defensive end later alluded to wanting around $15 million guaranteed over four years in an interview with WFAN’s Boomer & Carton.
Last month, Reese said the team had offered Umenyiora contract extensions for each of the past two seasons. That prompted the 30-year-old to go on the offensive and fight the notion that he could be seen as a “greedy pig for turning it down.”
“Obviously I’m rooting for him to end his career as a Giant,” Tuck said. “But you also understand the business aspect of things. And at the end of the day I just hope everything works out for him and his family and the Giants.”
Should the Giants pay up? Make your case for or against Osi in the comments below…