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Osi Umenyiora Breaks His Silence

As return grows closer, Umenyiora tries to clear the air.

By Josh Alper
|  Thursday, Sep 22, 2011  |  Updated 7:00 PM EDT
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Osi Umenyiora Breaks His Silence

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The mouth is running once again at Giants headquarters.

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The last time Osi Umenyiora offered any kind of public comment, he told the world that he wasn't planning on doing anything for the Giants to risk his health if they weren't going to give him a new contract.

He decided to have knee surgery a short time after that, a decision that seemed to be a case of putting a scalpel where his mouth was since there were no medical reports indicating surgery was a neccesity for Umenyiora to get back on the field. A bit cynical, perhaps, but it isn't like a member of the Giants faking an injury should come as surprise to anyone.

All of this came on the heels of an affadavit Umenyiora filed during the lockout calling G.M. Jerry Reese a liar for reneging on a promise of a new contract.

All of that background had us greeting the news that Umenyiora broke his long silence on Thursday with great excitement. Surely there would be a bombshell unleashed by a player who never got what he wanted despite trying just about everything under the sun to shake one loose from the team.

Alas, there was nothing all that interesting. Umenyiora said the knee surgery took place when it did because of the lockout, said his relationship with Reese is okay (we said uninteresting, not easy to believe) and said that he has no regrets about any of his machinations on the contract front.

"Well, at some point you just have to go for it, man," Umenyiora said. "If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Sadly it didn’t work and we’re right back to Square 1."

Just about everything Umenyiora said on Thursday was designed to turn the page on the dispute and turn the focus toward getting back on the field. The obvious reason for that change of heart is the realization that Umenyiora isn't going to get the deal he wants unless he returns to terrorizing quarterbacks sooner rather than later.

Umenyiora should get his wish. The Giants need him far too much right now to do anything other than put him right back into the lineup and turn him loose on opposing offenses.

It's still hard to see them giving him another deal after all the acrimony, the injuries and the fact that he's getting older while Jason Pierre-Paul is maturing, but maybe he'll have a strong enough year to draw something in a trade after the season. That would be the closest thing to a win-win in this endless saga. 

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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