Osi Umenyiora, Giants agree on deal

Updated: June 2, 2012, 11:59 AM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

Defensive end Osi Umenyiora and the New York Giants finally have reached an agreement on a restructured contract.

Umenyiora

Umenyiora

The resolution ends years of frustration for Umenyiora and at times contentious contract talks with the Giants. The defensive end long has sought to upgrade his contract without much success until now. Terms of the restructured deal were not announced by the team.

The Newark Star Ledger, citing a source informed of details of the agreement, reported the deal is for just 2012, simply a restructuring of the final year of Umenyiora's contract. The source also said the team would not use the franchise tag on the defensive end in the spring. Another source who had been informed of the negotiations told the newspaper the Giants had made a total offer -- base salary plus bonuses -- in the $7 million to $7.5 million range.

"I'm just happy; I'm happy all that's over with," Umenyiora said in a team news release. "It's time to get back to work."

"This gives me peace of mind, definitely," he added. "We just resolved a situation. It really was affecting me in a bad way. Because I didn't like all the negativity that was surrounding the whole situation. I couldn't stand it, because if you know me, you know I'm not that type of person. I'm just happy all that is over with and I'll be there. I'll play out this contract, I'll play this year and I'll play my heart out."

Umenyiora was entering the final year of a seven-year, $41 million contract he signed in 2005. He was slated to make just less than $4 million this season.

Umenyiora said on Thursday night that he had parted ways with longtime agent Tony Agnone.

"I appreciate Osi's patience and effort through this process," general manager Jerry Reese said in a statement. "We talked it out, and it makes sense for everybody involved. We are very pleased, excited and looking forward to seeing number 72 on the field at Monday's OTA."

Umenyiora's contract situation hit a boiling point last summer when he said in a sworn affidavit in the players' legal case against the NFL during the lockout that Reese had told him the defensive end would be rewarded with a new contract if he maintained a high level of play.

Once the lockout ended, Umenyiora sat out much of training camp last summer in hopes of landing a new deal. The Giants briefly gave Umenyiora and Agnone an opportunity to seek a trade before rescinding the permission when they could not find a team willing to part with a first-round pick.

Umenyiora ended his camp holdout but opted for minor knee surgery after a handful of practices. He returned and played in nine regular-season games, collecting nine sacks. He added 3½ sacks during the Giants' postseason run to the Super Bowl.

Umenyiora sat out the first two weeks of voluntary OTAs this offseason but says he will be back on the field with his teammates at the next OTA on Monday.

"I'll be there," he said. "I can't wait. I'm all in. Like Antrel [Rolle] says, I'm all in."

"It was definitely frustrating [sitting out team OTAs]," Umenyiora added. "But hearing some of the things they said, whether it was [Mathias Kiwanuka] or [Justin] Tuck or JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] or Antrel -- hearing the way they supported me, it made me want to come back even more and be around them.

"Those guys really stepped up for me. I really appreciate it and I'm happy to be here with them."

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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