Now that the NFL is on the brink of starting up, the Osi Umenyiora drama should begin shortly as well.
Umenyiora wants a new deal with the Giants or to have the chance to go to another team that will pay him like a top-five defensive end.
ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter mentioned earlier this morning that there’s rumblings of Umenyiora potentially being cut by the Giants when discussing star players who could be released. Schefter made it clear he isn’t saying this is going to happen but the notion of it seems to be floating around the league.
“The Giants have said that they are not going to cut him, John Mara, the Giants owner has said that,” Schefter said when going over potential big names to be cut on SportsCenter this morning. “However there have been rumblings around the league that Osi Umenyiora would be on the bubble. I think he’d like to be released to be able to shop his services to another team.”
“Remember, he criticized the Giants organization in testimony that he gave to the courts and was one of the name plaintiffs in the Brady vs NFL case,” Schefter continued. “Again, not saying he winds up getting cut but there are people around the league who think he could get cut.”
Mara reportedly told Umenyiora during a break at a recent negotiation session that the defensive end needs to settle his differences with general manager Jerry Reese.
Umenyiora contends in a sworn affidavit in the Brady vs NFL case that the GM told him he would give him a new contract or trade him to a team that would pay him like a top-five defensive end if he were still playing at a high level two years after this alleged discussion in 2008.
Considering that free agency looks like it will be a whirlwind with teams trying to sign and trade in furious fashion this week, the Giants have several things to figure out.
In my mind, the Giants need to re-sign Mathias Kiwanuka before deciding what to do with Umenyiora. Sure, Jason Pierre-Paul is waiting in the wings but the Giants operate best with several pass rushers in the stable.
Like Schefter, I’d be somewhat surprised if Umenyiora is released. It still remains to be seen whether Umenyiora will hold out if the Giants tell him to play under his current contract which has two years remaining at a total of $8 million. The good thing is, everything should start rolling pretty soon and we'll see how it all plays out with their own free agents, other UFAs they may target and Umenyiora.