Osi Umenyiora’s season began with a heated contract dispute with the Giants.
But the 2011 season ended with Umenyiora winning his second Super Bowl ring. If this is his final game as a Giant, there’s no better way to go out than this.
“Honestly, I am going to go home and sleep, enjoy this victory and we will get to that,” Umenyiora said when asked about his future. “I don’t know what is going to happen. I haven’t really thought about this. It will all be up to them. I have nothing to do with that.”
“If it does turn out that this is it for me, how much better can you go out than this?” Umenyiora continued. “There is nothing else. If I am back, which I hope, then we will go out and try again.”
Umenyiora has one year remaining on his contract at just under $4 million. He has long wanted a raise and he also still considers himself a starter even though Jason Pierre-Paul is now the starting right defensive end.
Umenyiora did not complain about rotating in and he played this season under his current contract despite not being able to get a raise or a trade to a team that would give him a new deal.
The defensive end, who is popular amongst his teammates, did not finish the Super Bowl with any sacks or patented strips, but did hit Tom Brady twice in Sunday's 21-17 win over the Patriots.
Afterward, Umenyiora was soaking in another world title. He admitted that it certainly was a wild season -- one which, in addition to his contract dispute, included minor knee surgery that cost him the first three games. He also suffered a high ankle sprain that forced him out of four games late in the season.
“What can I say, is there any other way this could have happened besides this right here,” Umenyiora said. “There is no other way. It had to happen like this. I am so happy for this team and happy for myself. We kept on believing.”
Umenyiora, 30, showed what he can do when healthy. He finished the regular season with nine sacks and two forced fumbles in nine games. He added three and a half sacks and two forced fumbles in the Giants’ postseason run.
“I believe in myself, my family believed in me, my teammates and coaches believed in me,” Umenyiora said. “At the end of the day, it is just unbelievable. This is great.”