All that time on the bike, and now Osi Umenyiora is back-pedaling away from his demands.
Cleared to play physically, the disgruntled defensive end told the Associated Press in an email that he will return to the practice field on Monday when the team begins its final full week of training camp. Umenyiora, who reported to camp a day late, has not participated in any practices this summer as he nursed a sore knee and was also believed to be protesting the Giants’ refusal to give him a new contract or trade him. Umenyiora gave a sworn affidavit that the Giants had promised him one or the other.
Umenyiora said he will play under his current contract, which has two years and $7.1 million remaining on it. He did say the Giants offered him incentives, but he turned them down.
“No deal has been reworked,” he said in the email. “What has been offered has been unacceptable and shows they don't really respect the fact I sacrifice my health for the franchise. I will play under my current deal because I love and respect my coaches, my teammates, the fans, and myself. Not for those incentives.”
It will be interesting to see where Umenyiora now fits into a defense that took a major step towards finding his replacement on Saturday night. Second-year player Jason Pierre-Paul played a dominant first quarter with two sacks and a quarterback hurry. Pierre-Paul has been playing the right defensive end position Umenyiora normally would.