Osi Umenyiora Returns To Practice With New York Giants

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New York Giants Defensive End Osi Umenyiora To Have Knee Surgery

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Osi Umenyiora Will Return To Practice Despite 'Unacceptable' Offer

Osi Umenyiora will return to practice with the New York Giants on Monday, ending a training camp standoff with the team that has seen him ride the exercise bike and watch practices, but not participate. Don’t mistake Umenyiora’s participation for happiness, however.

Umenyiora has been trying to get a new contract from the Giants, feeling he is worth more than the $7.1 million he is owed for the next two seasons.The Giants have offered incentives, but not a new contract. They have also refused to trade the disgruntled defensive end unless they can get a first-round draft pick in return.

Umenyiora had been claiming knee trouble, but doctors cleared him to return to practice late last week. In an e-mail to the Associated Press, Umenyiora said he would play under his current contract.

“No deal has been reworked,‘’ Umenyiora wrote in an email to the AP. "What has been offered has been unacceptable and shows they don’t really respect the fact I sacrifice my health for the franchise. I will play under my current deal because I love and respect my Coaches, my teammates, the fans, and myself. Not for those incentives."

Somehow, you get the idea that the dram between Umenyiora and the Giants is not over yet.

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Osi Umenyiora Could Return To Giants If Knee Is OK

It looks like disgruntled defensive end Osi Umenyiora might be the one to blink in his contract stalemet with the New York Giants. Various reports Monday night indicated that Umenyiora will get a second opinion on the condition of his left knee. If the knee is OK, Umenyiora will apparently get off the exercise bike and return to the field. If surgery is recommended, he will likely do that.

"It's time," Umenyiora's agent, Tony Agnone, told Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. "In the end, it's always better for the player to be back on the field."

Umenyiora has not practiced yet during training camp, claiming knee issues as he has tried to squeeze a new contract or a trade out of the Giants. Umenyiora wants more than the $7.1 million he is owed in the final two years of his contract.

Reports have indicated that the Giants are offering incentives, but that Umenyiora will only accept them if the team voids the final year of his deal -- allowing him to be a free agent after this year. The Giants have refused.

A simple return to the field by Umenyiora would be a surprising end to this standoff. Perhaps, if the knee checks out and he returns to practice the Giants might then be more amenable to adjusting his deal.

Either way, though, it seems an end to the Umenyiora saga is coming.

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John Mara Confident Osi Umenyiora Will Stay With Giants

Before the NFL Lockout ended and the New York Giants were able to begin training camp CEO John Mara was adamant that unhappy defensive end Osi Umenyiora and general manager Jerry Reese needed to sit ‘man-to-man’ and work out their differences.

That has not happened. Umenyiora still has not practices with the Giants, attending workouts each night but riding a stationary bike rather than participating. He continues to insist on a trade, re-worked contract or having the Giants lop a year off the two remaining years of his current deal so he can be a free agent after the season. The Giants have reportedly offered only some contract incentives to potentially boost his earnings.

Despite the obvious stalement, Mara is steadfast in his belief that Umenyiora will play for the Giants this season:

“Yes. I think it will be resolved and he’ll be a Giant this year,” Mara said. "It’s something we can work out. We’re already talking to his agent to do something incentive wise with his contract to make him happy.

“We want him on this team,” Mara said. “He belongs here. He’s had a great career here. He adds a lot to this team. I always say, the reason we were able to win Super Bowl XLII was that they couldn’t block our front. That was the first time all year Tom Brady faced that kind of pressure. That, to me, is the heart of our team. We’re hoping we can work it out soon.”

Giants’ fans hope he is right. The thought of lining up Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka and Jason Pierre-Paul as down linemen in a pass-rush package is worth getting excited about.

Right now, though, how the two sides actually make it happen is anybody’s guess.

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