The Osi Umenyiora situation remains a mystery as the New York Giants begin defense of their Super Bowl title. Things seemed to have been cooling in January and February, but then last week Umenyiora indicated he'd be skipping this week's voluntary conditioning session because of lingering discontent about his contract situation and said he didn't like being "a backup." It remains possible that the Giants will trade Umenyiora, extend his contract or just keep him and dare him to hold out if he doesn't want to play the final year of his deal under the current terms.
Giants GM Jerry Reese told reporters in New Jersey Thursday that he hadn't ruled out an extension for Umenyiora, but of course that doesn't indicate how likely a possibility it is. Umenyiora's friend and teammate, Justin Tuck, said he had no way of handicapping what would happen with Umenyiora, per Mike Garafolo:
"I don't know. You never know with that guy and what the scenario is going to be this year. But I just wish for the best. Obviously, he's a huge part of our success on defense but (also) the little things he does in the locker room as far as taking some of the pressure off the young guys and so on and so forth. I'm definitely rooting for him to be back, but at the end of the day you just want the best for him."
There's no way to doubt Umenyiora's value, especially after having watched the Giants' pass rush solidify into a Super Bowl-caliber unit once he returned from his injuries late last year. But the Giants do have salary-cap concerns and Umenyiora does have injury concerns, so I still think the most likely scenario is a little bit of griping (less than last summer) and then Umenyiora plays out his deal. But as Tuck said, you never know.