Osi Umenyiora and the 3 Worst Contracts on the New York Giants

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst IMarch 21, 2012

Osi Umenyiora and the 3 Worst Contracts on the New York Giants

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    NFL free agency has competed with NCAA's March Madness during the past week for the most exciting sports activity, but the New York Giants have yet to make any major moves. 

    They have signed Martellus Bennett to address the tight end issue, re-signed Terrell Thomas and Steve Weatherford along with re-signing some key backups. However, they have yet to make a blockbuster move and have seen some of their top-name free agents walk. 

    Mario Manningham signed a deal with the San Francisco 49ers and Aaron Ross signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Unfortunately, most saw this coming as a result of little cap space when the free agency period began. So whose contracts are holding the Giants up? I have three in mind.  

Chris Canty

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    Back in 2009, Jerry Reese signed Chris Canty to a six-year, $42 million deal from the Dallas Cowboys. At that time, the (over)reaction was intense from Giants fans. 

    It was way too much money for a guy who had only 10 sacks in his first four seasons in the NFL. It looked like fans were right in 2009, when Canty spent the entire season nursing an injury and playing in just eight games. 

    However, the past two seasons have been very underrated for Canty as he's anchored the inside of the Giants defensive line that has recorded 94 sacks in that time frame. 

    That said, I'm not sure he's lived up to the average salary of $7 million per year. No doubt Canty has been a crucial part of the defense, but Reese may have overpaid for him. Canty has just 5.5 sacks in three seasons. 

Antrel Rolle

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    I had a hard time with this one, considering how much Antrel Rolle has meant to the Giants as a leader and from a production standpoint. 

    It was pretty clear after the 2009 season the Giants needed safety help. They suffered the loss of Kenny Phillips and Jerry Reese had to protect the back end of his defense with a talented player. 

    Rolle is certainly a talented player, but he was given the richest contract for a safety at the time he signed it, and I do not see people lining up to say Rolle is the best safety in the NFL. 

    In Reese's defense, I believe the market dictated him breaking the bank to lure Rolle to New York. He was coming off a Pro Bowl season in Arizona and teams are going out of their way to improve pass defense with the NFL becoming more and more dominated by passing offenses. 

    His average base salary is $7.4 million and his cap number is a little over $9 million for the next three seasons. 

    Despite the fact that the signing improved the Giants drastically and Rolle has been everything the Giants hoped, giving him the richest contract for a safety has handicapped their ability to make moves this offseason. 

Osi Umenyiora

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    Call me crazy, but I had hoped the Giants would trade Osi Umenyiora in order to make room for a big free-agent signing. 

    I should have known better, and Jerry Reese has even indicated he is open to giving Osi a contract extension. Can you blame him? Osi had 12.5 sacks in 13 games played in 2011, including 3.5 in the four playoff contests. 

    Ask anyone who covered the Giants and they will tell you Osi coming back healthy rejuvenated the defense, which led to their improbable Super Bowl run. 

    That said, the Giants have a few issues to fix, and their defensive line is not one of them. Trading Osi could have gotten rid of approximately $4.5 million off the Giants' books, and possibly made room for the Giants to keep Mario Manningham, or even sign a top-tier free agent offensive lineman. 

    Honestly, $4 million for a guy who'll likely get double-digit sacks is a pretty good bargain on the surface, but if you look deeper, trading him could have had a profound impact on the team.