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Strahan says Umenyiora has gotten 'bad rap'

Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora during Super Bowl

Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora during Super Bowl XLVI Media Day at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. (Jan. 31, 2012) Photo Credit: J. Conrad Williams

Osi Umenyiora isn't as greedy as some people make him out to be, said former Giants teammate Michael Strahan, who thinks the defensive end is anything but.

Strahan, a Super Bowl XLII champion with the Giants, said Umenyiora has gotten "a bad rap" for his contentious contract negotiations with the team. He has no doubt that he will have a breakout season for the defending champs.

"He's always performed well when he's healthy," he said Monday of Umenyiora, who restructured his deal earlier this month. "There aren't many players that can do that.

"He's been underpaid. It's no secret. To be honest with you, it's flat-out robbery," Strahan said, adding that if he were Umenyiora, he would have "sat at home" and not played.

Said Strahan, "If he played well under the previous situations of being unhappy, and he's somewhat happy now, I'm sure he'll do great."

Strahan was one of several athletes at the Big Daddy Celebrity Golf Classic at Oheka Castle in Huntington. He said that unlike him, Umenyiora failed to capitalize on his situation with the Giants "at times when he should have." Strahan credited his former teammate with having a "good heart," contrary to popular belief, adding that Umenyiora expects people "to do as he would do.''

"But sometimes in the game of business, it doesn't work that way," Strahan said. "And you have to understand that as a player, sooner than later."

New York Sports