The last three seasons seemed like a never-ending saga of contract disputes between Osi Umenyiora and the New York Giants. He wanted an extension and more money, but GM Jerry Reese could not reach agreement on a deal with the DE.
Last week, Umenyiora put an end to the fighting when he fired his agent and accepted the best offer Reese could give him.
I wouldn’t exactly say that Umenyiora gave up, but he did come to the realization that he was never going to get the big bucks he was asking for. Now that the fighting is over he seems at peace and is happy he can get back on the field.
The key to getting Umenyiora in the right football state of mind is making sure he is happy. If he’s happy, he’s stronger. When he’s stronger, he helps make the Giants’ defensive line the most dangerous in the league.
Think about all of the numbers Umenyiora’s put up over the years. 14.5 sacks in 2005. 13 sacks in 2007. 11 sacks in 2012. Not to mention 2007 was also the year the Giants won Super Bowl XLII.
Last season when they won Super Bowl XLVI, Umenyiora ended the year with 9 sacks. Considering me missed weeks with some injuries, I say that’s not too shabby.
Lastly, the support of his teammates gives him a huge edge. The New York Times quoted Umenyiora’s praise for his teammate’s support:
“What I’ve heard from Kiwi, and Tuck, and JPP, I’ll never forget as long as I live. That’s exactly why we are champions. Because we have each other’s back. These days you hardly see that kind of loyalty from anybody. I appreciate it, and honestly it makes things that much harder for me. Because those are the people I need to be around.”
When Umenyiora was fighting for money, he felt the world was against him. Now that he sees the support, he’s happy. And to have that mentality that teammate support is what makes you a champion tells me that he’ll be more than ready to defend the title going into the 2012 season.
A happy Osi, makes a stronger Osi. A strong Osi makes a stronger makes a strong defense. When the Giants defense is on, they are super. If you thought last year’s defense was huge, wait until 2012. We haven’t seen anything yet.