NFL fans are well aware of how unique this offseason period has been, but one of the residual effects of the lockout and the frenzied free agency period has been that there have been fewer holdouts by players looking for a new contract. Obviously there’s the issue of players perhaps being reluctant to hold out in the immediate aftermath of a long work stoppage in which both players and owners were labeled as greedy. There’s also the issue of players wanting and needing to get in to camp and begin preparations for the new season after not having OTAs or mini-camps.
There are, of course, several high-profile contract disputes, one being Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora’s with the New York Giants. The Pro Bowler has two years and $7.1 million remaining on his deal. Hardly chump change, but the 29-year old surely is looking around the league at some of the other monster deals being signed by defensive ends and feeling like he’s under-paid during the peak years of his career. He’s not incorrect either.
What Umenyiora’s most upset about though is the reaction to his situation. He’s received little sympathy from the media and fans and he thinks that’s not quite fair. He expressed his frustration with the public outcry in an e-mail to the Associated Press on Monday.
"I hope there is a chance (of working out something with the Giants)," he said in the e-mail. "But who knows? What really annoys me is the hypocrisy of people clamoring for my head for asking for a new deal or to be traded, saying I have two years left on my deal. These contracts only mean something to us? Where is (recently released center Shaun) O’hara? Where is (recently released guard) Rich Seubert? True inspirational football players. They were cut after being injured. They have years left on their deal. Why is (running back Brandon) Jacobs asked to take a pay cut? He has years left on his deal.
“The fact is in the business we are in, if you get injured, or they feel like you under-performed, they cut you without hesitation. But if you clearly out-play your contract and ask for something to be done, you’re a bad guy and not a team player. It’s ridiculous...."
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