This afternoon finds Osi Umenyiora in spin-control mode, as the Giants' suddenly controversial DE tells The New York Times he'd be happy to return to the Giants even though he has, in a sworn affidavit, accused Giants GM Jerry Reese of lying to him about his contract. But before we get to that, we're going to start at the bottom of Mark Viera's story, in which Umenyiora calls Eagles running back LeSean McCoy a Chihuahua. Or a poodle.
You may recall that, after Adam Schefter's story of Umenyiora and the affidavit broke on our site Thursday, McCoy tweeted that Umenyiora was "overrated n soft" and the third-best defensive lineman on the Giants. Well, of course, in his phone interview, Viera asked Umenyiora about this:
"That little Chihuahua or poodle in the backfield; he doesn’t have to block me," Umenyiora said. "If you have something to say, say it man to man; you can't be a Twitter gangster. That's easy to do, trying to be a tough guy. Say it to my face, and we'll see what happens."
Even setting aside the addition of "Twitter gangster" to the lexicon, this is a far more hilarious reaction than I even expected. In the paragraph before that quote, Umenyiora also reveals that the Giants' defense has nicknamed McCoy "Lady Gaga," though he doesn't explain why and I'd personally love to hear it.
McCoy, of course, can reply by pointing out that he's 4-0 against the Giants so far in his career and pointing to the long touchdown run with which he beat them in Philadelphia last season.
As for Osi and the Giants... the spin control. One day after it was revealed that Umenyiora had sworn an affidavit accusing Reese of going back on a promise to rework Umenyiora's contract or trade him to a team that would, Umenyiora said all is peachy between him and the Giants.
"I love my teammates," said Umenyiora, who has been living in Atlanta. "The owners of the team, Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch, I'm really cool with both of them; they came to the hospital when I was injured. They're wonderful people. I don't have a beef with them per se. At the end of the day, they're going to have to make the best decision for them."
Umenyiora did express concern over playing time due to the Giants' surplus of good defensive linemen, and he didn't say anything to indicate he's not still unhappy with his contract. But at least he got to get his side of the story out there while he was being perceived as a potential disruption to the team. And he got to call an opposing player a Chihuahua. Or a poodle. And how many chances do you get to do that?
McCoy hasn't tweeted since 1:18 pm ET, and therefore hasn't fired back on the small-dog stuff. I'll try my best to keep you posted.