REESE WON'T TAKE OSI'S RIPS PERSONAL
"It’s not personal, Jerry Reese insisted. It’s only business.
how ugly his feud with angry Osi Umenyiora gets.
That was the reaction
by the Giants GM to essentially being called a liar by Umeyiora for the second
offseason in a row. In an interview on ESPN Radio in New York on Tuesday, Reese
dismissed the defensive end’s sharp words as “offseason chatter”.
exactly what he called it last summer, too.
“I don’t carry grudges,”
Reese insisted. “That’s the offseason. That’s part of the job. In the offseason
there’s always some controversies about contracts. It’s never personal. I don’t
think it’s personal with respect to players. It’s definitely not personal with
respect to me. It’s just part of the business.”
It’s been a dirty
business between Reese and Umenyiora, though, as the defensive end continues his
years-long battle for a lucrative contract extension. After several years of
threatening to holdout or even retire, Umenyiora began making his fight personal
in 2011 when he swore in a court affidavit that Reese reneged on a promise to
give him a new contract or to trade him.
He turned his sights on Reese
again on Sunday, one day after the GM
insisted that Umenyiora had twice rejected contract extension offers from
the Giants. In an email to the Daily News, Umenyiora questioned Reese’s grasp of
the facts, said the offers were insignificant, and said it was “hilarious” that
Reese was making
him “look like a greedy pig for turning it down.”
hinted at more battles to come. In fact, one source close to the angry end said
he is contemplating skipping the Giants’ mandatory, full-team minicamp in
mid-June and he may eventually demand a trade from the Giants.
he did on Saturday, said “all of our options are open” with Umenyiora, but he
reiterated he still hopes to find some way to make their disintegrating marriage
“The New York Giants, we’re a better football team with Osi
Umenyiora on our team,” Reese said. “We respect him as a football player. So our
goal is to have Osi play football for the New York Giants and retire as a Giant.
That’s what we’d like to do first.
“But all of our options are open like
I said before.”
Umenyiora said the Giants have offered him a contract
extension, but he insisted they only offered about $5.5 million in guaranteed
money – or about one-third of what he’s looking for, along with a multi-year
deal that will pay him an average of more than $10 million per season. He is due
to make $3.975 million this season in the last year of a seven-year, $41 million
contract extension he signed in 2005.
The next move appears to be
Umenyiora’s, and he promised in his email that it could be
Reese, for his part, promised “We’ll get through this.”
That may depend on what Umenyiora does – or says – next.
“It’s not a big
problem for me to have guys say some things,” Reese said. “I think sometimes
people say things that obviously they really don’t mean. But everybody is trying
to make as much money as they can for themselves and their families. Everybody
understands that. It’s not personal.”