Why New York Giants Were Right to Give Osi Umenyiora His Raise

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Why New York Giants Were Right to Give Osi Umenyiora His Raise
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Last week, the terms of Osi Umenyiora's restructured contract with the New York Giants were released, and I'm here to tell you that while it was not a substantial raise, Osi deserved every bit of the extra money the Giants are giving him.

Yes, if you've read anything of mine you would know that I expected and hoped the Giants would trade Osi during this April's draft. However, I was working with the assumption that the two sides would never come to an agreement on a new deal.

I always contended the Giants were a better team with Osi. Only a fool would think otherwise. This new deal enhances the possibility the Giants bring back Osi after his contract runs out.

To be honest, the fact that Osi agreed to a raise is surprising, considering he told reporters he had no interest in a short-term contract extension. He was aiming for a long-term deal comparable to some his fellow defensive ends have been getting.

Instead, he got a modest raise for the 2012 season and has returned back to work. Instead of the $3.975 million he was set to earn in 2012, he will earn a base salary of $6 million. The Giants actually save on cap by adding a year to the contract, but that year is easily voidable and Osi will almost certainly become a free agent after this season. 

Jerry Reese endured a lot of talk from Osi to reporters this off season, some good and some bad, but to finally get Osi back to camp happy is a huge win for the Giants.

Judging on production alone, if Osi is 100-percent healthy he deserves every bit of the raise. He had 12.5 sacks in 13 games (nine regular-season, four playoff). Many attribute Osi coming back healthy towards the end of the season as a huge factor in the Giants' playoff run.

Did Osi Umenyiora Deserve His Raise?

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The Giants defense allowed zero, 20, 17 and 17 points in their run through Super Bowl XLVI. If their trio of pass rushers (Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi) can stay healthy, this defense can be a very dangerous group.

The one lingering question surrounding this situation is how Osi feels about being a backup. If you remember, he told reporters before the draft that he feels he deserves to be a starter.

"I don't like being a backup, I can tell you that," he said. "It worked for us last year, but I was coming of an injury or whatever. But I see myself as a starter in the NFL. I see myself as a Pro Bowl type player. That's the way I see myself."

That was about two months ago, yet after he received his new contract, he told reporters "for the first time in a while, I don't really have any issues."

So what changed in that time? Nothing. The point is Osi never truly cared about being a backup, he just did not like getting paid as a backup. It was all about the money.

While it may not be considered a complete win for Osi, it definitely has to be considered a win for the Giants. They saved on their cap, gave Osi a raise, kept him happy in a contract year and kept their dominant pass-rush for their title defense.

This was a great move by the defending champs. Both parties are happy for the time being, which is all anyone could have hoped for.

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