EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora is retiring as a member of the New York Giants.
Umenyiora, who won two Super Bowls with the Giants, signed a one-day contract Wednesday and announced his retirement after 12 NFL seasons, the first 10 with New York and last two in Atlanta.
“There is nothing like being a New York Giant,” Umenyiora said during a press conference. “And I wish some of the players could truly understand that. New York is home for me. There was no doubt about it that when it was time to retire I was going to come here.”
Umenyiora had 75 of his 85 sacks with the Giants, fourth on the franchise’s list, trailing only Hall of Famers Michael Strahan (141½) and Lawrence Taylor (132½) and Leonard Marshall (79½). The 2003 second-round draft choice set the team’s one-game record, recording six against Philadelphia in September 2007.
“Osi was certainly one of the premier defensive ends in the game and a key part of our two Super Bowl teams,” Giants president and co-owner John Mara said in a statement. “But he was much more than that. Osi had so much pride and always gave 100 percent. He represented himself and our team on and off the field like a true professional and was a great example to his teammates.”
Umenyiora, who had two sacks last season, holds the Giants’ record with three touchdowns on fumble returns.
“Osi was a huge, huge part of those teams,” coach Tom Coughlin said, according to the Giants’ official website. “That’s the connecting link with all the guys. When they go away and then call back and talk, I express how much they mean to me as individuals, and I have to Osi. And he will respond in the same way about his time here and what great memories he has and how fond his thoughts are of winning Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. In my mind, when I think of 42, I see 92, 72, 91 (the ends’ jersey numbers) walking away with (New England quarterback Tom) Brady laying on the ground. I’ll never forget that picture. That’s a beauty.”
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