Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora said he has been having sleepless nights for the last two weeks worrying about his murky future with the team he has played with his entire career.
Umenyiora wonders whether he will be traded this weekend as the NFL draft is going on. Or will he get an extension? Or will he be forced to play out his current contract?
"I'm resigned to whatever's going to happen," Umenyiora said at an NFL Play 60 event in Manhattan Wednesday where he was promoting Kinect for Xbox 360 as a way for kids to get exercise and also rubbing elbows with about two dozen players who will be drafted this weekend and whose uncertain futures he can relate to. "I'm trying my best not to really think about it too much, but it keeps me up at night, man."
Umenyiora made it clear that it's not just money he's looking for . . . although that would certainly help. He even said that if a team were to trade for him, he'd be happy to play out the remaining year of his contract at the current cost of $3.9 million in base salary for 2012. He's made it clear he would not be happy to do that with the Giants.
He also wants to dispute the perception that he cannot play well against the run, something that will be hard to do with the Giants as he lines up behind Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck in base packages.
"It's going to be difficult for me to do that here with New York because they're really starting to view me as a pass rusher," he said. "There's a lot of issues that we have to work through here, there really are, but hopefully we'll come to some sort of resolution."
Umenyiora did not say what that resolution will be, only that he hopes it turns out the best for the Giants and himself. General manager Jerry Reese has said he is open to negotiating an extension for Umenyiora, but the player said there have been only preliminary talks about that. One scenario that would fit Umenyiora's everybody-wins criteria would be trading him for draft picks or as part of a package this weekend.
"I think things will probably heat up pretty soon here in these next couple of days because if they are going to do something, there's no better time to do it than now," Umenyiora said. "Given the current circumstances, maybe the Giants would think that I probably won't be back after this year. So if they're going to get something, now would be the time to do it. I don't know what they would want in return, but whatever is offered I'm quite sure it's something that they're going to weigh and think about and make the decision that's best for the team."
Umenyiora said he feels great and anticipates that he's going to have his best season in 2012. He's only 30 years old and was very productive in his spot duty for the Giants last season, his return helping spark a late-season rally to the Super Bowl.
But he is not participating in voluntary offseason training with the team and left open the possibility of a holdout if his contract situation remains status quo.
"If I have to come back and play, I really don't know how I'm going to react to that situation," he said. "Obviously there are some issues that need to be addressed, some issues that need to be taken care of. As soon as those things are taken care of, I'll be more than happy to join my teammates."
Whether they be Giants teammates, or with some other team, remains to be seen.