Monday, August 1, 2011
Updated: August 2, 9:50 PM ET
Source: Osi Umenyiora can seek trade
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have given permission to the agent of Osi Umenyiora to work out a trade for the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end, a league source told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio.
The Giants want a first-round pick in exchange for Umenyiora, who continues to be unhappy with his contract status even after a meeting with team officials over the weekend, the source said.
Umenyiora's agent, Tony Agnone, began contacting teams on Monday. He and a spokesman for the Giants declined comment on Monday.
Umenyiora is expected to remain in training camp pending the trade.
"I hope there is a chance," Umenyiora told The Associated Press in an email when asked if there's any chance he can work things out with the Giants. "But who knows. What really annoys me is the hypocrisy of people clamoring for my head for asking for a new deal or to be traded."
In a sworn affidavit as part of the recent Brady vs. NFL lawsuit during the lockout, Umenyiora said Reese told him in 2008 that if the defensive end were still playing at a high level in two years, he'd reward him with a new contract or trade him to a team that would pay him like a top-five defensive end.
Umenyiora mentioned how long-time fixtures on the Giants like Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert were recently released as a reason why players need to get the best deal possible.
"Saying I have two years left on my deal," Umenyiora wrote. "These contracts only mean something to us? Where is O'Hara? Where is Seubert? True inspirational football players. They were cut after being injured. They have years left on their deal. Why is (Brandon) Jacobs asked to take a pay cut? He has (two) years left on his deal."
"The fact is in the business we are in, if you get injured, or they feel like you underperformed, they cut you without hesitation," he continued. "But if you clearly outplay your contract, and ask for something to be done, you're a bad guy and not a team player. It's ridiculous."
Umenyiora has two years remaining on his contract worth a total of $8 million. The two-time Pro Bowler is coming off a season in which he had 11.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles.
The defensive end took notice at how Carolina recently agreed to terms with Charles Johnson to a contract worth $72 million over six years, including a $30 million signing bonus.
"How does a guy who had one good year (no disrespect to Charles Johnson) sign a deal and make more than both me and (Justin) Tuck combined? It's not right," Umenyiora said in the email. "Everyone in this business understands that is exactly what it is. Business. And just like none of us get upset when our teammates are released due to business decisions, the teams also don't get upset when something like this happens. It's just frustrating to see how people react to one thing, and not the other. Just be fair."
Umenyiora met with Giants general manager Jerry Reese on Sunday, and coach Tom Coughlin had said that he thought progress was made.
"Osi and I had a very good conversation and really that is all I am going to say about that," Reese said in an interview on the Boomer and Carton show on WFAN radio on Monday morning. "There are still some ongoing issues involved with that."
Coughlin told reporters following the team's evening practice that he did not have a comment on Umenyiora "because it is not resolved."
However, when asked if Umenyiora's hip -- which required offseason surgery -- was a reason why he watched practice for the second straight day, Coughlin said, "no."
Still, the head coach said the Umenyiora situation is not a distraction.
"Right now to be honest with you, it's not," he said. "We wouldn't want to go a whole lot further than this. We want everyone focused on making our team better. The sooner that all these things get resolved and we get Osi on the field, the better we are going to be."
Umenyiora reported to camp on Saturday and underwent his physical on Sunday. Coughlin said Umenyiora was scheduled to visit with team doctor Russell Warren to get clearance to practice since Umenyiora has had issues in past with his hip. Umenyiora watched practice from the sideline on Sunday night.
"We'll do what's best for the New York Giants," Reese added when asked if he will rip up the defensive end's contract and give him a raise. "I don't have any comments about Osi until we get all the issues resolved."
Tuck said Umenyiora is not a distraction to the team. He understands where his teammate and good friend is coming from but also optimistically believes that Umenyiora will remain a Giant.
"Honestly I'm not too worried about it," Tuck said. "Somehow I know that Osi's going to be a Giant. So until that happens, that's my focus right now. I can't allow myself to think otherwise."
Tuck added: "This thing has been going on for a while now and they haven't gotten rid of him yet. So I just feel as though they are both feeling each other out right now. That is my opinion. I know what Osi means to this team."
Sal Paolantonio is an ESPN national football correspondent. Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk was used in this report.