Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Sources: Osi Umenyiora can't seek trade
By Ohm Youngmisuk
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants are no longer allowing Osi Umenyiora and his agent to seek a trade, according to sources.
The Giants gave the defensive end and agent Tony Agnone permission to seek out a trade earlier this week. But that window has closed, sources confirmed. The team's decision was first reported by the Newark Star-Ledger.
Agnone was unable to find a trade partner willing to surrender a first-round pick to the Giants in return for the disgruntled defensive end, who is seeking a new contract to replace the one that has nearly $8 million remaining on the final two years.
Umenyiora was excused from the team for the rest of Wednesday and the night practice, according to a source familiar with the situation. The defensive end met with Jerry Reese on Wednesday afternoon and the general manager told his defensive end to clear his head and that the Giants will see him in the morning.
However, Umenyiora was at practice, riding the stationary bike at the start. Coach Tom Coughlin didn't have much to say about the situation but was not surprised that Umenyiora decided to watch practice.
"It seems like there's chapters," Coughlin said of the Umenyiora saga taking daily twists and turns. "He was given the option and he was here. I was pleased. I think it is a good thing. I am hoping that is the kind of indication that we are all looking for."
The Giants would love to keep Umenyiora on the team, but the defensive end is adamant about getting a raise after posting 11.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles last season. Umenyiora has been in camp since Saturday but has not practiced, instead watching from the sideline. Coughlin said the defensive end's surgically repaired hip is not the reason why he has not practiced yet.
A league source said the Giants have worked out defensive end Andre Carter, formerly of the Washington Redskins.
The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday night that sources said the Giants had lowered their asking price to a second-round pick and that the Ravens were interested in that scenario. However, a source told ESPNNewYork.com that the Giants had not lowered the price as of late Tuesday night.
A source said that it is uncertain whether the Giants will continue to attempt to trade Umenyiora at the moment. It also is uncertain what Umenyiora will do next.
"I hope there is a chance," Umenyiora told The Associated Press in an email earlier this week 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."
Linebacker Michael Boley pointed to the presence of second-year player Jason Pierre-Paul as a quick remedy if Umenyiora continues to stay off the field.
"He's a tremendous athlete," Boley said of the 6-foot-5, 270-pound Pierre-Paul, who finished third on the team last year with 4½ sacks as a rookie. "To run the way he does at his size, and he's strong at that, he can make a lot of plays for us."
In a sworn affidavit as part of the recent Brady vs. NFL lawsuit during the lockout, Umenyiora said general manager Jerry 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 took notice of how Carolina recently agreed to terms with Charles Johnson on a contract worth $72 million over six years, including a $30 million signing bonus. Umenyiora said he's frustrated with people who are criticizing him for wanting a new contract.
"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."
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.