On Giants: Osi and Kiwi and contracts

April, 27, 2012
4/27/12
3:44
PM ET
Well, the New York Giants have given a contract extension to one of their cornerstone defensive players, but it's not Osi Umenyiora. The Giants have signed Mathias Kiwanuka to a three-year extension through the 2015 season, and while that's good news for Kiwanuka, as Mike Garafolo points out, it can't make Umenyiora very happy. He's been complaining about his contract for more than a year now, and with one year to go he recently suggested that the Giants would be wise to trade him during the draft that is currently in progress.

[+] EnlargeOsi Umenyiora
AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezWill the Giants' Osi Umenyiora, No. 72, and Mathias Kiwanuka be teaming up for more tackles in 2012?
Kiwanuka is about 16 months younger than Umenyiora, which could be part of the reason why he gets the new deal and Osi doesn't. It could also have something to do with the fact that Kiwanuka played the good, quiet soldier last summer and agreed to a position change (playing linebacker on first and second downs) while Umenyiora sat on the exercise bikes and pouted about wanting a new deal or a trade. Could have something to do with the injury issues that kept Umenyiora off the field for so much of last season. Could just be a matter of timing, and a new Umenyiora deal could still be something that happens down the road.

But I don't know. Earlier in the offseason, it appeared as though tensions between Umenyiora and the team had eased considerably, that he wouldn't be making as much noise about his contract this offseason and that they might even be able to find some common ground in negotiations. But lately, it's trended back the other way. And while I still don't think the Giants want to trade him this weekend, I do think they'd be wise to consider it, if only because his value is high right now due to the way he played during the Super Bowl run.

Our AFC South blogger, Paul Kuharsky, who is from New Jersey and therefore should be considered extremely intelligent, believes the Tennessee Titans should be trying to get Umenyiora from the Giants tonight. Paul says he'd offer a fourth-round pick and might go as high as a third-round pick. If offered a third-rounder, I think the Giants would have to consider it, though I doubt that'd be enough to convince them to deal him. If he does play, and if he plays his best, there are few if any players in the league who can do the things he does in the pass rush. What the Giants have to be wondering right now is whether he'll want to play for them in the absence of a new contract and whether he'll be able to stay healthy enough going forward to justify one. And if they don't think so, I think they need to take a hard look at the idea of dealing him while other teams still consider him valuable.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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