Osi Umenyiora wants Michael Strahan in the Hall of Fame

Giants' Michael Strahan, left, and Osi Umenyiora celebrate Giants' Michael Strahan, left, and Osi Umenyiora celebrate after Strahan sacked New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, right, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3, 2008. Photo Credit: AP

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Osi Umenyiora played with Michael Strahan on the Giants defensive line for four seasons. On Friday, he stood alongside him once more.

The former Giants defensive end came to Strahan's defense Friday, saying that his ex-teammate deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and supporting him in his ongoing war of words with Warren Sapp. That decision will be announced Saturday evening.

"Obviously I'm with Michael 100 percent," Umenyiora told Newsday during a tour of Super Bowl's Radio Row to promote Carle Place-based 1-800-Flowers.com. "That's my man."

Umenyiora, now with the Atlanta Falcons, was talking about the ongoing feud between Strahan, now a Fox Sports analyst, and Sapp, the Hall of Fame defensive tackle from Tampa Bay and current NFL Network analyst.

Earlier in the week, Sapp said that Strahan -- who has 141 1/2 sacks in 15 seasons and holds the single-season sack record with 22 1/2 -- "comes up short" for the Hall of Fame. That in turn sparked a back-and-forth feud between the two in the media.

Strahan dismissed Sapp's comments, saying that "the tiger does not pay attention to the opinion of a sheep." The next day, Sapp handed Newsday a card with the names of four people listed above the number "92," a reference to who he would vote for ahead of Strahan.

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Said Umenyiora of Sapp's comments: "Warren just needs to allow Michael to do his thing, that's all."

Umenyiora, who had 75 sacks in nine seasons with the Giants, played opposite Strahan from 2003-07.

Strahan didn't make the Hall of Fame last year in his first time on the ballot, but Umenyiora said he believes Strahan won't have to wait much longer to get the Hall call. Perhaps just a few more hours.

"I'm happy for him," Umenyiora said of Strahan. "I think he's going to get in this year."

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