The Giants announced late Friday afternoon that they signed Umenyiora to a restructured contract, ending a contract dispute that had put the defensive end at odds with New York general manager Jerry Reese. Terms of the deal were not immediately available.
Umenyiora has not participated in the team’s drills thus far this spring. He is the second prominent defensive player to sign a new contract this offseason, joining Mathias Kiwanuka.
“I appreciate Osi’s patience and effort through this process,” Reese said. “We talked it out, and it makes sense for everybody involved. We are very pleased, excited and looking forward to seeing number 72 on the field at Monday’s OTA.”
Umenyiora was entering the final season of a seven-year contract that would have paid him $4.7 million this season.
“I’m just happy, I’m happy all that’s over with,” Umenyiora said. “It’s time to get back to work. It was definitely frustrating (not being on the field this spring), but hearing some of the things they said, whether it was Kiwanuka or (Justin) Tuck or (Jason Pierre-Paul) or Antrel (Rolle), hearing the way they supported me, it made me want to come back even more and be around them.
“Those guys really stepped up for me. I really appreciate it and I’m happy to be here with them.”
Umenyiora said the new deal, which is not an extension, gives him peace of mind.
“It really was affecting me in a bad way, because I didn’t like all the negativity that was surrounding the whole situation,” he said. “I couldn’t stand it, because if you know me, you know I’m not that type of person. I’m just happy all that is over with, and I’ll be there. I’ll play out this contract, I’ll play this year and I’ll play my heart out.”
The 30-year-old Umenyiora is entering his 10th season with New York. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2005 and 2007. He has 69 career regular-season sacks, fourth on the Giants‘ official career list. He is 10.5 sacks behind No. 3, Leonard Marshall.
Umenyiora was the Giants‘ sole or shared leader in sacks in six of seven seasons, missing only 2008, when he did not play a game after undergoing knee surgery. He was the team sack leader in four consecutive seasons with 7.0 in 2004, 14.5 in 2005, 6.0 in 2006 and 13.0 in 2007, and again with 7.0 in 2009. He was tied with Tuck for the team lead in 2010 with 11.5. Umenyiora was the first Giant to top the team in sacks four years in a row since Lawrence Taylor led the team from 1986-90.
Umenyiora played in nine regular-season games last season with seven starts. He appeared in four postseason games with no starts as the Giants won the Super Bowl. He missed the season’s first three games after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Aug. 19 and four December games with an ankle injury suffered at New Orleans on Nov. 28. Despite those absences, Umenyiora finished second on the team with 9.0 sacks. He was credited with 25 tackles (16 solo), and two forced fumbles.
In the playoffs, he had 3.5 sacks, nine tackles and a forced fumble.