OSI UMENYIORA'S TEAMMATES ARE READY TO MOVE ON WITHOUT HIM IF NEED BE
"At least one member of the Giants defense believes the unit would go on
without skipping a beat if defensive end Osi Umenyiora does not return last
season, as he has indicated could be the case in several
interviews and public appearances this week if his contract is not reworked.
Linebacker Michael Boley pointed to the defense's success when Umenyiora was
out due to injury last season as evidence that the defense can succeed if
Umenyiora is traded during the offseason.
"If Osi's not around it won't change anything," Boley said last night at the
ESPN The Mag Pre-Draft Party in Manhattan last night. "We got a good group of
guys. Obviously, having Osi there is great, but with him not being there it's
not going to change. Just like the times that he's been hurt, nothing
Umenyiora missed seven games last season, but still managed to record nine
sacks in nine regular season games and 3 1/2 more in the Giants' four postseason
He told reporters yesterday that if he has to play under his current
contract, "I really don't know how I'm going to react to that situation."
Fellow defensive Jason Pierre-Paul said losing Umenyiora, someone who he said
has aided his growth as a football player, "would hurt." But he also said he
would be doing the same thing if he were in Umenyiora's position -- a
30-year-old sackmaster entering the final year of a seven-year deal he feels
"This whole thing's a business," Pierre-Paul said. "I feel like Osi, he
deserves better and what he's doing is a business part of football. If I was in
the situation, too, I would do the same thing."
Dave Tollefson already gone to the Raiders, losing Umenyiora would mean that
half of the Giants' vaunted NASCAR personnel on the line wouldn't be around.
Pierre-Paul said he could see the Giants drafting a defensive end this weekend
to maintain the unique personnel package and a quality rotation.
"We're going to have to keep the rotation going," Pierre-Paul said. "That's
with any line in the league. You got to have a rotation so when guys get tired,
you depend on the next man to come in and fulfill thee job and do you job better
than you can. That's with any defensive line."