- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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After general manager Jerry Reese said on Saturday that the team had offered Umenyiora an extension two years in a row, the defensive end responded by saying he was offered "half" of the guaranteed money linebacker/defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka recently received in an extension.
"Last year I was offered incentives," Umenyiora wrote in an email to the New York Daily News. "This year they offered me in guaranteed money, HALF of what they just gave Kiwi guaranteed. HALF. I'm not making that up."
"Then Jerry tells the world they offered me an extension and I turned it down," he continued. "And I look like a greedy pig for turning it down. Hilarious."
Kiwanuka recently signed a three-year contract extension through 2015 worth $21.75 million with $10.95 million in guaranteed money, according to reports.
Umenyiora, 30, is entering the final year of his contract worth just under $4 million. He wants to remain with the team but does not want to play under his current deal. He has long been seeking a new contract to replace the seven-year, $41 million contract he signed in 2005. Umenyiora is looking for an extension in the neighborhood of the contracts recently signed by Philadelphia's Trent Cole and Indianapolis' Robert Mathis.
Cole signed a four-year extension worth $48.525 million, including $15 million guaranteed. Mathis' new four-year extension is worth $36 million with $17 million guaranteed.
So clearly, if the Giants offered him half of Kiwanuka's $10.95 million in guaranteed money, Umenyiora was never going to agree to the deal. Umenyiora said last week that he did not believe the Giants would be able to pay him the extension he is seeking since they will have to eventually take care of several young players like Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul.
He suggested that the Giants should see if they could trade him during the draft for perhaps a pick in return. But the Giants did not deal him nor did they draft a defensive end. When asked if he considered dealing Umenyiora, Reese said, "all options are open."
"Our first choice with respect to Osi is that he will play for the Giants and retire a Giant," Reese said. "That is what we would like to happen. Osi has been offered an extension two years in a row now so we would still like to make it work. Hopefully it will work out."
The two sides somehow made things work last year despite Umenyiora alleging that Reese had promised to rework his contract in an affidavit filed as part of a lawsuit on the players' behalf against the NFL during the lockout. Umenyiora sat out practice for the first two weeks of training camp while hoping for a new deal. The team briefly allowed Umenyiora to seek a trade, seeking a first-round pick in return, before the defensive end eventually decided to undergo minor knee surgery.
He ultimately turned down the Giants' offer to add incentives to his contract and had 12.5 sacks in 13 games -- including the Giants' Super Bowl postseason run.
"Would I want to [stay]? I think it would be ideal," Umenyiora said last Wednesday. "I think I would if things could be worked out. But is that going to happen? I really don't think so."
"I doubt it because of the situation that they have with Jason [Pierre-Paul], Justin [Tuck], Victor [Cruz] and Hakeem [Nicks] coming up [eventually]," Umenyiora added. "I feel like I'm one of the very good pass-rushers in the NFL, I think my statistics have proven that. Are they going to be able to pay me as such? I seriously doubt that."
Umenyiora said he wasn't sure what will happen this summer if he does not have a new contract by training camp.
"So what do I do? Do I suck it up and come back and put my tail between legs like I've always done for these last couple of years," Umenyiora said last Wednesday about the possibility of not having a new deal entering this season. "Do I do that again this year? Or do I go out there and try to do what's best for me one time? It's unfortunate that it's come to this but it's the business that we are in."
In his email to the Daily News, Umenyiora said he will be "silent" on the topic of his contract going forward.
"I will be going completely silent after I send you this because it's obvious talking does nothing! Things will be very interesting, that's for sure."
13hEric D. Williams
2dSharon Katz & Hank Gargiulo