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Friday, June 1, 2012
Umenyiora situation still unlikely to improve

By Dan Graziano

I can understand Osi Umenyiora's frustrated logic. It's been years now, and he hasn't been able to get any satisfaction at all on his contract situation. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. So you look for aspects of the situation you can control and you change them.

Umenyiora
Given very few such options, Umenyiora has apparently decided to exercise one, and he has fired his agent:
"We both decided he really wouldn't be able to help me out with this situation," Umenyiora said in an email response to ESPNNewYork.com. "I haven't hired a new agent, and I'm not really looking to hire a new agent."

Umenyiora has long been seeking a new contract extension from the Giants. He is entering the final year of his contract worth just under $4 million.

So the question is: How does this affect Umenyiora's chances of getting the new contract he seeks and the Giants' chances of avoiding a holdout?

And the answer is: Probably not even a little bit.

My thing is, I don't see how Tony Agnone was the problem here. Yes, there have been contract disputes throughout sports history that were poisoned by the relationship between the agent and the team and improved once the agent was out of the picture. But throughout the Umenyiora situation, I have never heard anyone indicate that the relationship between Agnone and the Giants was even the slightest part of the problem. The issue between Umenyiora and the Giants is a very simple one: He believes he should be making more money than his contract stipulates, and the Giants believe he should play for the contract he signed.

It doesn't matter which side of the argument you buy. The facts are that each side has a point but the Giants have no reason to budge. Umenyiora's only option is to sit out and not play, and we have discussed many times on here the considerable downside to that course of action. Fines, lost salary, damage to reputation. Umenyiora will show up and play eventually, and the Giants know it. Depending on how well he plays, they could do a new deal with him at some point this season or next offseason. But when that time comes, I don't think it's going to matter who Umenyiora has representing him in the negotiations. As long as the team has all of the leverage and the player has none, there's really not a lot the agent can do.