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Thursday, January 19, 2012
Osi excited, but uncertain about future

By Kieran Darcy

Osi Umenyiora is reveling in this postseason run by the Giants, in what could be his final days with the team.

The 30-year-old defensive end has one year remaining on his current contract, at just under $4 million, but wants a new deal -- something the Giants probably can't afford to give him, because of salary cap considerations. Umenyiora was asked about his future after practice on Thursday.

"I can't really discuss that right now," Umenyiora said. "Whatever happens at the end of this year happens. Right now I'm just focused on playing football. This is pleasure. You don't want to mix business with pleasure. This is fun for me, I'm enjoying it, and the business part of it will be taken care of later."

ESPNNewYork.com colleague Ian O'Connor, in an interview with Giants GM Jerry Reese earlier this week, asked Reese if he wants Umenyiora back.

"I want all of our good players back," Reese said. "Is he going to be back? Who knows? We’ll evaluate that when the season's over. I hope it's not over for a couple of more weeks, 'til February 5."

Umenyiora made one of the biggest plays of the game in the Giants' 37-20 divisional round win over the Packers last Sunday, a strip-sack of Aaron Rodgers on the opening possession of the second half.

It was the 32nd forced fumble in Umenyiora's eight-year NFL career, all with the Giants.

Umenyiora said last week, prior to the game, that he had a good feeling about the Giants' chances of beating the Packers. He was asked the same question about the 49ers on Thursday.

"Same feeling," Umenyiora said. "I think we've had pretty good practices. I feel good about it. Obviously they're a very good football team and they're a different team, but overall I still feel pretty good."

San Francisco's offense depends heavily on the running game -- the 49ers were ranked eighth in the NFL in the regular season, averaging 127.8 yards per game on the ground. That means Umenyiora might be on the sideline a little more often, since his strength is rushing the passer.

"Whatever they want me to do, I'll do," Umenyiora said. "If they don't want me to play run downs -- whatever they ask me to do I'll do. I have no problem with it. It’s whatever at this point."

As for the prospect of playing in a second Super Bowl with the Giants, Umenyiora said he and his teammates aren't focusing on that right now.

"From what I saw against New Orleans, [the 49ers] are just so hungry. Understand what I mean? So all our focus is basically on them right now," Umenyiora said. "They think it's their year. So far it's been their year -- they've beaten everybody, or most of the people who've been put in front of them. But we're just as hungry, if not hungrier than them."