NFC East: Tony Agnone
"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.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
According to Strahan's agent, Tony Agnone, GM Jerry Reese made the phone call everyone had been waiting for Monday.
"Jerry said, 'Hey, you think Michael would have some interest?'" Agnone told The Post. "Obviously there's not any Pro Bowl defensive ends out there except him. I'm sure there's a part of him that wants to play. Do I think it's a big part? No."
But at some point (like now), the Giants will ask Strahan to name his price. The number we keep hearing is $8 million, but ESPN's Chris Mortensen said he thinks the figure will be more than that. I've also read in a couple of places that Reese and Strahan were at odds when the defensive end skipped training camp last year.
Well, I talked to Reese about that topic two weeks ago in Albany. At some point during the 2007 season, Reese went up to Strahan and said, "I just want you to know that I didn't take that stuff you said personally."
Strahan later told Reese that he had a lot of respect for him and that he would never be able to do his job. All that to say that there's a mutual respect in place that allows Reese to feel comfortable reaching out to Strahan.
I do think the Giants will go out of their way not to pressure Strahan too much. They don't want to put him in a position where he looks disloyal by not returning. And I think that's the right way to go.