Osi Umenyiora issued a reminder Thursday that turmoil is never far away when it comes to the veteran defensive end and his relationship with his employer, the New York Giants.
Umenyiora spent last season primarily as the Giants third defensive end behind Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck. Never shy about expressing what he thinks of his own ability, the two-time Pro Bowler said he is "not OK" with being the third wheel in the rotation.
"I don't like being a backup, I can tell you that," he said. "It worked for us last year, but I was coming off an injury or whatever. But I see myself as a starter in the NFL. I see myself as a Pro Bowl type player. That's the way I see myself."
Umenyiora said he was "not complaining," but that "I don't like being on the bench."
The Giants open OTAs on Monday and reports are that Umenyiora is unlikely to be in attendance.
All of this is a reminder that Umenyiora's contentious time with the Giants may soon be coming to an end. He has long been unhappy about the seven-year, $41.3-million contract he has been playing under, and the Giants have refused to re-negotiate the deal. Umenyiora asked for a trade during 2011 training camp and did not get one.
Umenyiora has 40.5 sacks in his last four seasons, including nine in nine regular-season games in 2011. It would seem unlikely the Giants would give Umenyiora the rich deal he desires with Tuck and Pierre-Paul in the fold. Considering his mindset it would also seem unlikely Umenyiora would stay with the Giants beyond 2012.