Osi Umenyiora of the New York Giants addresses the media outside the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Federal Courthouse after the NFL lockout hearing on June 3, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. NFL players and the league met in court today for a federal appeals hearing on the legality of the three-month-old lockout. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ESPN New York reported this morning that New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora will file a sworn affadavit to be filed in federal court in Minnesota next month as part of the players' antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. The affadavit will detail Umenyiora's claims that the franchise lied to him, and that he wants out of New York.
This is an ugly turn to the offseason for the Giants, and one I know I didn't see coming at all. We know that Umenyiora has been unhappy with the Giants in the past, and that he made a lot of headlines after the 2009 season when he aired some complaints about the way the Giants were treating him.
Now, Umenyiora is directly challenging the integrity of Giants general manager Jerry Reese. The ESPN story also indicates that Umenyiora has moved out of his New Jersey home. Mike Garafolo of the Star-Ledger pointed out that Umenyiora has been unhappy with his contract since shortly after signing a six-year, $41-million deal in 2005.
Via Twitter, Inside Football's Pat Traina has also offered some insight into the Umenyiora situation.
Pat says she is "not surprised" by Umenyiora's stance, and that he "often looked like he was struggling to hold back" when talking to the media.
Pat also points out that Osi has little leverage here, since he has two years left on his contract and just had hip surgery.
I don't know Umenyiora at all and I have to defer to Pat for any insight into his previous frame of mind. This whole thing does not sound good though, whether or not Umenyiora has contract leverage. The last thing the Giants, or any franchise, needs is an unhappy player who is questioning the credibility of the leaders of the franchise and potentially dividing the locker room.