Osi Umenyiora never came out and said Thursday that he believes he is one loss - or a Super Bowl victory - from the end of his nine-season stay with the Giants. But the defensive end did not dissuade reporters from reading between the lines after he said of Sunday’s playoff game against the Falcons: “I’m really cherishing this opportunity, probably more than everybody.”
Umenyiora has a year left on his contract, but it seems unlikely that the Giants will keep him around as a situational player at a salary of almost $4 million, and it seems less likely that Umenyiora will shed a tear if he departs. He's been trying to wiggle from his contract for almost four years.
For now, though, he is “all in,” as the Giants’ mantra goes. Well, mostly.
Upon returning Sunday from a four-game absence because of a sprained ankle, Umenyiora was moved from his usual right end to the left side to avoid disrupting Jason Pierre-Paul. How did that go?
“Not well,” he said. “I felt so awkward, man. I’m happy I got a sack over there, but it’s not something I plan on continuing.”
Did he agree to the move?
“What am I going to do, be like, ‘No?’” he asked, laughing.
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said in his eyes Umenyiora performed well.
“I just have to convince him he looks good on the left,” Fewell said. “He might feel awkward, but he looks good.”
Umenyiora had two sacks in his return, during which he experienced some pain in the ankle.
“I didn’t re-injure it,” he said. “I think it was just the lingering effect of what had happened. I just had to keep on playing through that.”