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Monday, February 20, 2012
Osi Umenyiora plans to 'be quiet'

By Dan Graziano

New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora made a big stink about his contract last summer, but he says he's going to try a different tactic this time around. With one year left on a contract he's made it clear he doesn't like, Umenyiora says last year taught him to "be quiet, say nothing."

Umenyiora started chuckling when my old "First Take" friend Dana Jacobson asked him about his contract situation on "SportsCenter" on Monday morning, but he stayed on message during his response.

"There's no need to talk about it, because at the end of the day, the players, we don't have any control over it," Umenyiora said. "The team's going to make the decision no matter what. So coming out and being public and vocal doesn't really get you where you need to go. So if anything, work more behind the scenes, and that's exactly what I plan on doing this year."

Umenyiora obviously lost his contract squabble with the team last year. They gave him permission to seek a trade, but he couldn't find another team willing to give up the first-round pick the Giants were seeking for him. After a big postseason performance, Umenyiora's value is very high, and with only one year left on the deal it's possible the Giants would seek less in return this time. Umenyiora said he hoped to be back with the Giants but, "as everybody knows, this is a business, and the team is going to make the best decision for them, and hopefully I'll be able to make the best decision for myself also."

Osi also took a little shot at an NFL celebrity, saying that when he was injured this year he "said my prayers to Tim Tebow, and he came through for me. He came through for us and the New York Giants."

Quite the character is Osi. Somehow I doubt he'll stick to this new "quiet" plan.