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New York Giants notes: Jacobs' knee, Umenyiora's future

One thing is for sure. The New York Giants' humiliating loss Sunday, and the fact that they are out of the playoffs for the first time in five years, means there is no shortage of things to talk about.

So, let's get started.

In the midst of discussing his disappointment over Sunday's loss to Carolina, head coach Tom Coughlin was asked about the health of running back Brandon Jacobs, who had just one yard on six carries Sunday.

Coughlin let it be known that the big fella came out of the game with a swollen knee, and that the knee is an injury Jacobs has been battling all season.

"He has had some issues along the way that he has had to deal with," is all Coughlin would say about it.

We should have known all along that Jacobs has not been right. Mich like Rich Seubert, who played much of the season with a damaged shoulder, Jacobs has not been on the injury report. His 3.7 yards per carry average, after two seasons of averaging 4.9 per carry, tell you he has not been the same, though.

The questions the Giants have to answer in regards to Jacobs are obvious, but they are not easy. Will he ever again be the back the Giants relied on to set the tone for them offensively in 2007 and 2008? Or, has he begun to break down? With next season being the sixth of his career, have we already seen the best he has to offer? And can the Giants depend on him to be their featured back in 2010 and beyond?

As of today, I am not sure there is a concrete answer to those questions.

About Osi

The Osi Umenyiora question is another that has arisen since Osi's post-game outburst Sunday night. Coughlin addressed Osi's unhappiness during his Monday press conference.

"I am familiar with what he said and he is very much in our plans. I would just tell you that he is a very, very important asset to our team and just leave it at that," Coughlin said.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio believes that what it is really about for Umenyiora is money, which he has felt for years he is not getting enough of from the Giants.

We're told that the team has no desire to move Umenyiora, and that the franchise believes his remarks represent the latest effort to get the new contract that he has coveted since not long after he signed a long-term deal in late 2005 and then later hired agent Tony Agnone, who also represented Michael Strahan.

But what has Umenyiora done since racking up 14.5 sacks in 2005? Setting aside the night that Umenyiora treated Winston Justice like his own personal turnstile, Osi is a single-digit guy -- hardly the dominant presence that he thinks he is.

So now he thinks he'll get paid by declaring that the team doesn't want him. With an uncapped year looming, it's an interesting approach.

But with Umenyiora slated to earn a base salary of only $3.1 million in 2010, the Giants have no reason to let him walk -- and his performance has given them no reason to rip up the last three years of his deal.

I don't know if Florio is right about Osi's desire for a bigger paycheck. I do know he is right about his productivity. It is the same stance I have had in regard to Umenyiora for years now. He is not nearly as good as he believes he is.

Other Stuff

  • You can forget all that wishful thinking about John Fox getting fired by Carolina, replacing Bill Sheridan as Giants' defensive coordinator and becoming the team's head-coach-in-waiting. The Panthers want to keep him.
  • Here is a musical look at the 2009 Giants' season. I think it's a little harsh in spots, but I think many of you will enjoy it.
  • Daily News columnist Tim Smith says the 2009 failure proves that the 2007 Super Bowl was a fluke. I think that's nonsense. Even if it isn't, though, I don't really care. The Giants won in 2007, no one can ever take that away, and it was one of the highlights of my life as a sports fan. Fluke or not.
  • Matt Mosley lists NFC East Pro Bowl possibilities. Pretty revealing that not one Giants defensive player even gets consideration.