Osi Umenyiora says when it comes to his contract situation this year, he is going to take the silent route.
The defensive end said on SportsCenter on Monday morning that he learned being vocal and airing out his gripes with his contract last year did him no good.
“Just be quiet,” Umenyiora said when asked by Dana Jacobson about what he learned from how he handled his contract last year. “Don’t say nothing. There is no need to talk about it. Because at the end of the day as players we really have no control over exactly what is going to happen. The team is going to make the decision no matter what. So, coming out and being public and vocal doesn’t really get you where you need to go.”
“If anything work more behind the scenes,” he added. “And that is exactly what I plan on doing this year.”
Umenyiora is entering the final year of his contract worth just under $4 million. He wanted a raise last year or to be traded to a team that would give him a new contract but neither happened. He initially aired out his differences with GM Jerry Reese in an affidavit for the players' case against the NFL during the lockout. He sat out practices the first couple of weeks in training camp before returning for three practices and then opted for knee surgery when he experienced swelling in his knee. The Giants gave him and his agent a brief window to seek a trade before rescinding that offer.
Despite all that, Umenyiora said it never got ugly between him and the team.
"Me and Jerry Reese and the owners -- Mr. [John] Mara and Mr. [Steve] Tisch -- we are all cool," Umenyiora said while on The Mike and Mike show on Monday morning. "Even when all that stuff was going on, it wasn’t really as contentious as people would have thought. We sat down and had a lot of conversations. If anything happens in the event that I am traded or released, it is not going to be bad, they are probably going to be doing it for my own good in actuality, so I'll be happy with anything that happens."
After winning his second Super Bowl, Umenyiora has said he wants to remain a Giant. However, he still will want a raise and he’s still a starting defensive end in this league although as a Giant he would have to rotate in for Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck.
"I can see it going either way," Umenyiora said of whether he will stay or be traded. "I can see it where as they would keep me and I can see it where as they would trade me because it makes sense both ways. Hopefully things will work out in my interest. They have always made the right decisions for that organization whether that is keeping me or trading me. I would love to stay but I understand it is a business."
Umenyiora’s situation could heat up closer to the draft in April. But Umenyiora reiterates he wants to remain a Giant.
“I had a vision, I had a dream about exactly where I was going to be playing,” the defensive end said. “I had on a blue jersey. There was a ‘N’ somewhere around there, a ‘Y’ I think. Super Bowl rings. Hopefully that is where I will be. But you never know.”