Osi Umenyiora is trying desperately to get out of his contract. He’s scheduled to earn $3.125 million in 2011 and $3.975 million in 2012 as a base salary. He believes he is underpaid.
Justin Tuck, by the way, will earn $3.45 million in base salary this year, #3.2 million next year, and $4.0 in 2013. A case could be made that he isn't being paid as an elite defensive end either (although he has collected at least $14 million in signing bonuses, roster bonuses and incentives so far as well). So why isn’t Tuck grumbling?
“I’ve thought about it,” he said with his crooked Tuck smile.
It’s hard to think, though, that Tuck would put up the kind of contract fight Umenyiora currently is. And he pretty much said so himself.
“You know what, honestly, I love playing the game of football and the Giants have given me an opportunity to play it and I’m happy about that,” Tuck said. “When my contract comes up, we’ll talk about my contract. Until then, I’m happy to be a New York Giant.
“I feel it’s important to play out your contract as long as you’re happy, as long as you feel as though they’re doing right by you,” Tuck added. “How I look at it, my time will come. My situation isn’t Osi’s. If I was in Osi’s situation, would I be saying what I’m saying right now? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know because I’m not Osi. Like I said, as football players we all have to seize the moment. So anytime in this career it could be over just like that. Osi has to do what’s best for him and his family. He has to do what he thinks is best and I think he’s doing that. You can’t fault him for trying to make the most out of his career.”
Tuck said he understands Umenyiora’s position. But he also understands the position of the Giants, who believe they are entitled to two more years of service from Umenyiora.
“I definitely understand the other side of it,” Tuck said. “I understand where the Giants are coming from. That’s why it’s between them two. The only reason I’m in this is because I’m the defensive captain. I can’t tell you what the Giants should do, I can’t tell you what Osi should do. I’m just here supporting either way.”
Until 2014, anyway.