If it's spring, it must mean another demand to be traded by New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora. In what has become an annual grind in the Giants rumor mill, Umenyiora is making allegations and mandates once again. Only this time it seems like Osi really means it.
In a sworn affidavit to be filed in Minneapolis next month, Umenyiora makes it clear why he wants to leave New York by stating Giants general manager, Jerry Reese, has failed to honor a verbal agreement to renegotiate Umenyiora's current contract.
"In early 2008, approximately two weeks before the start of the New York Giants off-season conditioning program, I, Osi Umenyiora, had a meeting with the general manager of the New York Giants, Mr. Jerry Reese," testified Umenyiora last April. "If I was playing in the National Football League at a high level, we'd either renegotiate my current contract so it would be equal to the top five defensive ends playing or I would be traded to a team that would do that."
Umenyiora claims Reese has amnesia when it comes to the meeting.
"He [Reese] told me that he was an honest, church-going man and he would not lie."
The Giants defensive end has led the team in sacks in five of the last six seasons. Umenyiora's last contract extension in December 2005 was for 6-years at $41 million. He has two years left and he will be paid $3.5 million if the 2011 ever season starts.
This has been an ongoing drama between Umenyiora and the Giants for a long time and, frankly, Giants fans are getting a little ticked at the pushy 280-pounder.
During the 2009 season, after the second-round draft pick lost his starting job and threatened the Giants with trade demands. The following spring he was stroked the wrong way and threatened to leave again.
The 29 year-old Umenyiora has been bothered by injuries over the past few seasons and played through some pain, but his song-and-dance routine is getting tired.
He missed the entire 2008 season after tearing up his left knee in an exhibition game against the New York Jets and is recovering from hip surgery from a lingering hip injury. Umenyiora says his hip is fine right now and he is ready to bring it on.
This time, it looks like the tempestuous Giant is sticking to his guns about leaving the Meadowlands before--or when--the 2011 season begins.
Umenyiora has packed up his bags and moved his personal belongings to Atlanta, his home of six years, according to reports.
The New York Giants have not publicly commented on the situation, but it is unlikely they will back down. Maybe they know something.
The current NFL lockout prohibits teams and players from discussing any disputes during litigation.