I don't know if defensive end Osi Umenyiora reports to the Giants when they open training camp Friday, and I don't know that Umenyiora knows. Sources close to him say he's unsure what the next move is. They also say he's steamed.
That's because Umenyiora hasn't heard from GM Jerry Reese, and that's an issue because in a sworn affadavit that was part of the Tom Brady anti-trust lawsuit vs. the NFL, Umenyiora said Reese promised in 2008 that if Umenyiora were playing as a top defensive end in two years he would either gain a new deal or be traded to a team where he would paid like a top-five player at his position.
Well, this just in: Umenyiora is playing like one of the game's top defensive ends. In fact, his 10 forced fumbles last season set an NFL record. That's why he'd like to hear from Reese, but so far there's been no meeting, no phone calls, no nothing -- and Umenyiora isn't happy.
Team president and co-owner John Mara told reporters he's "hopeful" that Umenyiora will show up for work Friday, but I wouldn't be so sure. People who know him say he's so ticked that there's talk of staying away and trying to force the Giants to do something, anything to ameliorate what could become a major distraction and disruption.
Of course, staying away would cost Umenyiora $30,000 for each day he misses, so the penalty is costly. Plus, the Giants don't have to do anything. He's under contract for another two seasons, which means he's not going anywhere ... unless, of course, the club trades him. At this stage, all we know is that all bets are off, and that includes the possibility of Umenyiora having played his last down for the Giants.
This one has the potential to be a powder keg, and it is worth following.
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