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Umenyiora: “Keep Your Promise -Pay Me or Trade Me!”

Osi Umenyiora has had enough!  He doesn’t cry, complain, or stomp his feet so he expects any promises made to him to be honored! Umenyoira claims that general manager, Jerry Reese has failed to make good on his promise to renegotiate his contract or trade him another team. Umenyiora has been dissatisfied with his six year, $41 million dollar extension contract since he signed it late in the 2005 season.

ESPN reports that Umenyiora is expected to file an affidavit next month.  Umenyiora is one of the plaintiffs in the Brady et al v. the NFL, the affidavit states that NY Giants general manager, Jerry Reese did not honor his promise to either renegotiate Umenyiora’s contract or trade him to another team.  According to ESPN, the affidavit states:

“In early April 2008, approximately two weeks before the start of New York Giants off season conditioning program, I, Osi Umenyiora had a meeting with the general manager of the New York Giants, Mr. Jerry Reese.

“After about an hour of discussing my current contract, as well as the contracts of other defensive ends currently playing in the National Football League, Mr. Reese told me that two years from the start of the 2008 league year, if I was currently playing at a high level, we’d either renegotiate my current contract so that it would be equal to that of the top five defensive ends playing or I would be traded to a team that would do that.

“Before leaving the meeting, I asked Mr. Reese twice if he was absolutely sure that this would be the case. He told me that he was an honest and church-going man and that he would not lie, which I believed to be the case. Under the penalty of perjury these statements are true and accurate.”

Umenyiora has been quoted on several occasions as being upset with the Giants coaching staff. In August 2009, Umenyiora stormed out of a meeting after being criticized by former Giant’s defensive coordinator, Bill Sheridan. Later that season, it was reported that he become angry with head coach, Tom Coughlin,  after being demoted for ineffective play after missing a full season due to a knee injury. Last season, Umenyiora threatened to retire if he was forced to be a back-up. By end of the year, Umenyiora’s public comments about the team and the team’s coaching staff had diminished.

The Giants have not issued a statement about the affidavit. Tony Agnone, Osi Umenyiora’s agent, also declined to comment on the situation. Agnone filed his own affidavit earlier this spring claiming that the NFL lockout would cause his client, Umenyiora, irreparable harm as it threatens to take away a year of his career which could possibly weaken his skill.

In the 2010 season, Umenyiora set a new NFL record with 10 forced fumbles and completed 11.5 sacks! Umenyoira has proved to be an unstoppable disruptive force for the team’s pass rush. Based on the conditions stated in the affidavit, it would seem that Umenyiora IS playing at a high level two years after the alleged meeting with GM Jerry Reese and, is therefore, entitled to a payoff.

The Giants cannot address this issue until the lockout is over, at which time they will decide to either pay him or trade him. Until then, ESPN reported that Umenyiora has packed his belongings from his New Jersey residence and plans to live full-time in his Georgia home.

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