He’s happy. He’s healthy. And if it seemed as if Osi Umenyiora was a kid in a candy store yesterday on Tuesday as he prepared to head up to training camp in Albany, well, he pretty much was.
The defensive end made an appearance at M&M’s World in Manhattan to promote their new personalized candies just a few days before he takes the field with his teammates to defend their Super Bowl championship. After years of contract squabbles, Umenyiora is in the last year of his deal and received a restructured raise. After three injuries last season, including surgeries on his hip and knee, he’s feeling strong and fit. Umenyiora usually heads to camp – or, in the case of last year, doesn’t – escorted by a posse of storylines, dramas and controversies. This year?
“It’s all M& M’s, man,” he said.
Sweet. No meltdowns, in your mouth or in your hands.
Of course this brief Era of Umenyiora Stability will not last forever. He’ll be a free agent after this season and be playing who knows where in 2013. Where -- and for how much and how long -- will depend immensely on his performance in 2012.
“There’s no type of contract pressure that is going to limit the way I play,” he said. “I feel like I’m the best defensive end in the league and when I go out there on the football field I feel like I must perform that way.”