Osi Umenyiora's Not Finding Many Buyers

No one is racing to the front of the line of the Osi Umenyiora sweepstakes.

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, Aug 3, 2011  |  Updated 12:35 PM EDT
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Plays like this aren't enough for teams to bite on Umenyiora.

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Osi Umenyiora is learning that it isn't all that enjoyable to be in a gunfight when you're only armed with a wooden spoon.

Two days after the Giants gave Umenyiora and his agent the okay to shop himself around to the other 31 teams in the NFL, the defensive end is left without any suitors for his services.

Some teams are put off by the thought of spending a first-round pick to get Umenyiora from the Giants while others are leery of handing big money to a player with bad knees and a bum hip. But regardless of the cause, the message is the same one the Giants have been sending to Umenyiora for several years.

You're just not worth what you think you're worth.

How else can you explain why a team like the Ravens or Rams wouldn't step up and snatch Umenyiora away as quickly as possible? If they thought Umenyiora was so good that he'd make a difference, they'd giftwrap a pick that would be at the end of the first round and fork over heaps of cash in exchange for a deep playoff run.

Everyone loves a bargain so you'd expect some haggling in relatively normal offseason, but this isn't that offseason. Training camp has already started and the free agent market for difference-making pass rushers has dried up enough that you'd expect teams interested to be chomping at the bit to make a deal.

And yet there's nothing but silence, which tells you just how much of a difference-maker anyone thinks Umenyiora can be for them in 2011 and onward.

He's never been the best player on his defensive line, let alone an entire defense, and the Giants would never dream of trading him if they didn't think Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka could give them just as much production as Umenyiora has in recent years.

That pokes quite a few holes in the hypocrisy screed that Umenyiora penned and sent to the Associated Press earlier this week. He fell back on the usual argument -- teams can cut players if they underperform, so why shouldn't players get more if they overperform -- and proved that any claims of hypocrisy in this case are the same as the kettle meeting the pot.

Umenyiora's salary for the next two years is low for a player of his talents, but it wasn't low during the frontloaded years early in the deal. If Umenyiora wanted a higher annual average salary, the time to take care of it was when he signed the deal instead of allowing himself to be dazzled by big numbers when he knew there was a day coming when his salary would drop commensurate to the rest of the league.

There are reports that the Giants will accept something less than a first rounder in exchange for Umenyiora, although that doesn't take care of the fact that Umenyiora still wants to be paid like a player that he isn't for the next few years.

Any way you slice it, the NFL has made it clear what it thinks about Umenyiora.

That only leaves the moment where Umenyiora accepts this reality check and moves along accordingly. Don't hold your breath.

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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