I tried to listen to Antonio Pierce on NFL Live last night, but to be honest I couldn’t take my eyes off of how huge Kris Jenkins was sitting next to him. AP is no slight man, and yet he was eclipsed by the girth of Jenkins. Wow.
Luckily Pierce was on ESPN again this morning while I was watching and waiting for Bob Glauber to come on at 10. This time it was on the Mike&Mike radio show. And he said he believes that the Osi Umenyiora situation is getting ugly, that the last time something like this happened it was with Jeremy Shockey, and that Umenyiora will not play for the Giants again.
I’d have to agree. I am, however, still trying to figure out exactly how this ends. I can’t decide if each day that Osi spends riding that exercise bike means he’s one day closer to rejoining the Giants since he is in the building and apparently participating in meetings and such, or if each day that he refuses to practice because he “says he has a sore knee” is driving him away from the Giants who are building towards their Sept. 11 opener.
Here’s some educated guesses. The Giants did not like that their permission for Umenyiora and his camp to seek a trade created a public circus. The one thing about the Shockey trade was that we never got a confirmation about the Giants shopping him (although we all suspected it) and that’s the way the Giants like to do business. Umenyiora’s agent was telling everyone that there were over 20 teams calling and even the Ravens head coach started speaking publicly about Osi. In fact, I’d dare say that Osi’s camp did themselves a disservice by saying that the Giants were seeking a first-round pick because that locked the team into that position where a little more verbal diplomacy might have allowed them to swap him for a 2 or some kind of package and still save face publicly.
I still believe that the next time we hear Umenyiora speak publicly it will be at an introductory press conference for some other team (note that I didn’t say in some other city). I think that just because the Giants rescinded permission for Osi to seek a trade, they are still open to the idea of trading him. I think his threat to have knee surgery out of spite is ridiculous. And I think that while the players had been saying that he is not a distraction, now that we enter Week 2 of training camp, guess what, it’s a distraction.
So when and how will this end exactly? I don’t know. But it will end. I promise you. Because the Giants will not go into the season with a $3 million-a-year pedal pusher on the sideline.