Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:39 am
Edited on: August 2, 2011 10:41 am

Umenyiora suitors balk at Giants' demands

Not surprisingly, there are no new developments in the Osi Umenyiora situation. The Giants granted the defensive end permission to seek a deal, but they're asking for a first-round draft pick in return -- something that's not likely to happen. And that's not just me talking. It's Umenyiora's agent, Tony Agnone.

"We'll continue to pursue a trade," he said Tuesday morning, "but at that high level I find it a rather dubious situation."

I'll second that.

Agnone is fielding calls from teams, and there are a lot of them. He's talking to interested GMs, and there are a lot of them. But not at the price the Giants are demanding. A second-rounder? Maybe. But, remember, Umenyiora wants a new contract, too. So you'd have to sacrifice a first-rounder and a lot of money to acquire him.

Clubs are willing to pay the money. They're not willing to mortgage a first-rounder, especially under terms of the new agreement that only increase the value of a top pick. So where it appears the Giants are willing to trade Umenyiora, the terms are so high that a trade doesn't seem likely.

That leaves Umenyiora sitting still, so steamed about what's going on he reportedly is dead set against playing another down for the Giants. But Agnone had plans to meet with him Tuesday morning to discuss the next move ... if, in fact, there is a move.

All I know is that nothing is happening on the Umenyiora front ... from either end. And maybe that's a good thing. Emotions need to settle down.

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Posted on: August 1, 2011 3:16 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 3:18 pm

Bradshaw move no-brainer

The Giants re-signed Ahmad Bradshaw for all the right reasons -- because he was their best back last season and the Giants still believe in the run.

Bradshaw wasn't a distraction. He wasn't a complainer. OK, so he fumbled. So did Tiki Barber.  But that can be helped ... if not resolved. What you couldn't resolve was the 1235 yards that would've evaporated with his departure.Bradshaw was one of the top free agents left on the market, and I couldn't imagine why something hadn't happened sooner with him.

Yeah, I know the Giants flirted with Jason Snelling. But Bradshaw is the better option. He knows the system, he is happy with his role and he has Brandon Jacobs there to split carries. By staying put, he remains with a team that is a playoff contender and a team that will make sure he's a significant part of the offense. He also may extend his career, with Jacobs absorbing some of the hits reserved for Bradshaw were he somewhere without a suitable partner.

So Bradshaw goes where he is needed, and the Giants retain a contributor -- something that's critical in a season where new is not necessarily good. In fact, its the veteran teams with the returning head coaches and familiar scripts that should survive, and the New York Giants are one of those teams.

Keeping Jacobs was smart as long as you had someone to split carries with him. The Giants do. That should take some of the heat off Eli Manning's shoulders and ensure that Tom Coughlin can do what he likes to do --- which is mix his passing attack with an effective running game.

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Posted on: August 1, 2011 2:27 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 3:17 pm

Money, interest not there for Moss

I don't know if we ever have another Randy Moss sighting, but I do know we don't have one until someone pays him what he thinks he's worth. I don't know what that is, but I do know it's more than anyone was willing to offer. So Randy Moss retires because the money -- and the interest -- wasn't there.

And for good reason: At one time, Moss was one of the game's dominant receivers. Now, he's a part-time receiver who draws more attention for what he doesn't do than what he does. And what he didn't do last season was catch many passes.

After New England gave up on him, he spent the rest of the season with Minnesota and Tennessee, doing little more than run routes and take up space in the huddle. In 12 games with the two clubs he produced 19 catches and two touchdowns, none with Tennessee. In fact, in four of his seven games with the Titans he didn't have a catch. In three others, he had one.

That is not the wide receiver Randy Moss is supposed to be, but it's the wide receiver Randy Moss has become.

So why take a flyer on him? Apparently, no one would -- at least not at a price Moss found acceptable. If and when that happens, I have no doubt he returns. If not, I have no doubt he stays retired. But he's 34, for crying out loud, so there's plenty of time for him to pull a Brett Favre. All that's missing is the interest ... and what happened Monday tells you it wasn't there.

We should've known. When New England pulled the plug, it signaled that Moss' career was on life support. The Patriots can put up with a lot, but when they waved the white flag with Moss the clock started ticking on this day. It's tough enough to add a Randy Moss to your locker room, but you can make the case if you think he can make a difference.

He doesn't anymore. So why spend the big bucks to put him on your team? You don't, which is why Randy Moss is out of football ... for now. 

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Posted on: August 1, 2011 12:15 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 12:21 pm

Movement in Umenyiora stalemate

So Osi Umenyiora has been given permission to seek a trade from the New York Giants. That doesn't mean one will happen. It means the Giants have taken the first step to eliminate a distraction.

Reports indicate the Giants want a first-round draft pick in return, and that's going to be tough. Remember, he wants a new contract, too. So you'd sacrifice a first-rounder and mucho bucks for him, which will shrink the field of suitors. But there should be people at least interested, and that is a step forward.

Make no mistake, Umenyiora wants out now. He is an unhappy camper who believes general manager Jerry Reese didn't follow through on a promise he allegedly made in 2008. In a sworn affadavit that was part of the Tom Brady lawsuit vs. the NFL, Umenyiora said that Reese promised him a new contract or a trade if he had two productive years.

Umenyiora believes he lived up to his part of the deal. He emphatically believes the Giants have now, staying out one day of camp to demonstrate it. Now, at least, there's movement, with the defensive end allowed to seek a potential suitor ... mostly, I believe, to calm down Umenyiora.

He has two years left on his contract, and this is the Giants' way of saying he won't be getting a new deal. So maybe he'll get a new home. That would make Umenyiora happy. People close to him swore that he would never play another down for the Giants. Maybe they're right.

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Posted on: August 1, 2011 8:58 am
Edited on: August 1, 2011 10:12 am

Continuity kept with Cromartie deal

The Jets didn't land free-agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, so they re-signed Antonio Cromartie. Makes sense to me.

He's a former Pro Bowler. He's cheaper than Asomugha. And with the money the Jets saved by not signing Asomugha, they could invest in Cromartie and wide receiver Plaxico Burress.

If nothing else, the Jets retain continuity from another AFC championship game run. Cromartie played opposite Darrelle Revis last season in the Jets' "No-Fly Zone," and that worked out fine. Ask Tom Brady. He couldn't find open receivers in a playoff loss to New York.

With promising young cornerback Kyle Wilson coming off the bench and Donald Strickland back in the mix, the Jets are set at cornerback. So they don't have Asomugha. Big deal. They were lucky that Cromartie was still on the market.

Yeah, I know, he has his ups and downs and is a reluctant tackler, but look at the body of work last season. You don't need the two best cornerbacks in the game to get to the top; you need a secondary that communicates, knows its positions and frustrates the opposition as the Jets did with Brady in the playoffs.

The Jets may wind up thanking Asomugha for spurning them. It pushed them back to Cromartie, and, fortunately for them, he still was available. He knows the system. He knows his teammates. He knows what he's up against ... because he's done it all before.

Familiarity counts for a lot here, especially in a year where there were no offseason workouts, and training camps are on a rushed schedule. I'll say it again: Continuity will be a factor this season, particularly at the beginning, and the Jets just struck a blow for continuity.

Second best is not always a bad thing.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 5:33 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 5:36 pm

Bad sign: Rodgers already having it his way

Aaron Rodgers is a terrific quarterback. He might be a better salesman.

It was the Packers' quarterback who earlier this summer spoke out about re-signing two of the team's key free agents, fullback John Kuhn and wide receiver James Jones, and it was the Packers' quarterback who on Sunday reiterated his position.

Only this time, the Packers followed through. They re-signed both, further strengthening a team that looks armed and dangerous for another Super Bowl run.

While Rodgers fully acknowledged it's not his job to act as an agent for teammates, he did explain why he felt compelled to speak out about the importance of retaining them.

"I am a leader on this football team," he said, "and my voice carries some weight in this locker room. You don’t get better by taking from the whole.  You need a guy like James Jones back. You need a guy like John Kuhn back. Solid locker room contributor; solid contributor on the field.  We need guys like that to win.

"I don’t make statements about that all the time unless I feel strongly about something them, and I feel very strongly that James Jones was an important part of this football team. And so was John Kuhn. And so was Daryn Colledge and Cullen Jenkins. I'm going to miss those guys, but it’s important for us to bring back those other two guys."

Apparently, management agreed.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 10:51 am
Edited on: July 31, 2011 5:17 pm

Burress pawn in battle for NY

Nothing bothers the New York Jets as much as playing second banana in the New York metropolitan area to the Giants. OK, so maybe losing to the Patriots is in there.

But the Jets love attention, and they've been making alot of it on and off the field since Rex Ryan took over as head coach. That's why the signing of free-agent Plaxico Burress should come as no surprise. He's a big name, the Giants were interested in him and the Jets wanted to make a move at the wide-receiver position.

More important, they probably felt they had to make a splash after losing out with Nnamdi Asomugha. So they sign Burress, and say goodbye to Braylon Edwards. I don't know where he ends up, but it's safe to assume it won't be back with the Jets.

I know, Edwards must drop his price for anyone to be interested, but he's a more dangerous weapon than Burress. Burress, of course, is a sexier name, and the Jets opted for the guy who will get the attention ... and he will get it in stadium where the Giants play.

My question: Will he also get the passes? He turns 34 next month and missed the past two years of football while sitting in prison. More to the point, when you talk to personnel directors and GMs they tell you he was slipping in 2008, when we last saw him.

My guess is that he didn't wind up with the Giants because he and coach Tom Coughlin have too much history together. While each may have been willing to accomodate the other, they both know where they could end up ... because they've been there. So Burress goes to the competition, and I'm not talking about within the NFC East; I'm talking about the back pages of the Post and Daily News.

The Jets are there again, thanks to Burress, and that's how they like it. And the Giants? Frankly, I think they couldn't care less.

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Posted on: July 30, 2011 5:46 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 5:47 pm

Osi ends holdout; will show up

There's a breakthrough in the Osi Umenyiora stalemate... except it's really no breakthrough at all. The Giants' defensive lineman will end his holdout Saturday evening, his agent confirmed, and attend the Giants' training camp.

But that doesn't mean that anything has been resolved. In fact, nothing has been. Umenyiora, who set a league record last season with 10 forced fumbles, wants a new contract or a trade -- and neither is in the works.

Umenyiora charges in an affadavidit that was part of the Tom Brady antitrust lawsuit that Giants' GM Jerry Reese promised him either in 2008 if he had two good seasons. Umenyiora's contention is that he lived up to his side of the deal, and the Giants aren't living up to their. But he will show up because, well, he's decided to show up ... without Reese contacting him or his agent.

Umenyiora is under contract for the next two seasons and faced a $30,000 a day fine if he didn't attend practice.

So he will show up. But that doesn't mean Umenyiora is OK with the situation. He's anything but. He still wants the Giants to respond, but so far, nothing.

"(Shaun) O'Hara and (Rich) Seubert had contracts, and they got released," said agent Tony Agnone, "and Brandon Jacobs had a contract and it was reduced. Does this only work negatively, and not positively?"

Only the Giants can answer.

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