Giants players support Osi Umenyiora in contract dispute

Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka at the team's OTA.

Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka at the team's OTA. (May 30, 2012) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

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Giants players are starting to speak out publicly in support of Osi Umenyiora.

On Tuesday, Justin Tuck appeared on "The Jim Rome Show" and said that while Umenyiora should honor the last year of his contract, he "deserves to be paid" like the other defensive ends who have hit the contract lottery this offseason. Then Wednesday after an OTA practice, Mathias Kiwanuka noted that the Umenyiora situation should never have gotten this far.

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"He's been under contract in a bad deal for years now and anybody who looks at the situation would say this should have been taken care of a long time ago," Kiwanuka said. "For whatever reason, it hasn't. So I understand his frustration."

Kiwanuka also said he was not bothered that Umenyiora compared his own offer from the Giants to what Kiwanuka received in the extension he signed in April. In emails to various media outlets that disputed general manager Jerry Reese's claim that he'd been offered extensions in the last two seasons, Umenyiora claimed that the Giants had offered him half of what they gave Kiwanuka in guaranteed money. Rarely do players publicly compare each others' business.

"I looked at what he said and there was nothing that he said that was outright disrespectful," Kiwanuka said. "Osi, he and I, we have a relationship. If something came up that I felt was out of line, I would have called him up and we would have handled it, but I didn't think there was anything that went that far."

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