The last few days New York Giants star defensive end Osi Umenyiora ha been in the training room, getting treatment for his "sore knee" during his holdout for a new contract, but CEO of the New York Giants John Mara believes the 2 time pro bowler will be a Giant this upcoming season.
Umenyiora is supposed to make $7.1 million in base salary over the next two seasons, but Osi believes he is worth more, current and former teammates agree.
Former New York Giant defensive end and captain Michael Strahan wrote on his twitter account "He's underpaid so what is there to talk about? RT @JeffroBartlett: @michaelstrahan Can u please talk some sense into Osi for us #Giant fans?"
In a recent interview with New York Post's Steve Serby, Strahan stated, "He’s been underpaid for a long time. Be fair. I made more in the sixth year of a seven-year contract — a throwaway year — even after paying $200,000 worth of fines than Osi will make this year and next year. That’s ridiculous.”
Despite Umenyiora's season ending injury in 2008, Osi has played all 16 season games in 2007, 2009, and 2010, showing that he is durable and can play week in and out. Last season, Osi had 11.5 sacks with 10 forced fumbles. Thats deserving of more then $3.5M a year.
Umenyiora has claimed in a sword affidavit that his been filed in a federal court, that Giants' general manager Jerry Reese prior to the 200 promised if Umenyiora outplayed his contract (which he believes he as) Reese would reconstruct Umenyiora's contract or trade him to a team that would.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Giants have offered Osi incentives that would increase his 2011 salary if he recorded 13.5 sacks this season (2 sacks less than last season). Umenyiora has asked that the Giants get rid of his last year on his contract (2012) if he was to accept the offer.
He is an elite player at the position, and Mara knows that. That's why Osi hasn't left the Giants for a trade. Mara wants to keep him and wants to resolve the issue.
"Yes. I think it will be resolved and he'll be a Giant this year," Mara said to the Star Ledger. "It's something we can work out. We're already talking to his agent to do something incentive wise with his contract to make him happy."
Umenyiora was a key piece in the 2007 Giants run to the Super Bowl, working alongside Michael Strahan and Justin Tuck. The Giants know if they don't make him happy, they would be losing a big part of their once (and can return to) dominant defense.
We want him on this team," Mara continued. "He belongs here. He's had a great career here. He adds a lot to this team. I always say, the reason we were able to win Super Bowl XLII was that they couldn't block our front. That was the first time all year Tom Brady faced that kind of pressure. That, to me, is the heart of our team. We're hoping we can work it out soon."
The Giants could have Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Jason Pierre-Paul on the defensive line if the Giants and Osi can work something out. Now that's a good line, with a great secondary (even though Prince Amukamara broke his foot).
The Giants need Osi Umenyiora, he has done so many good things for this team in the past 4 years. He is a great pass rusher, and even better at smacking the ball out of his opponent's hands.