There’s probably a good chance you’ve read Osi Umenyiora’s email to the Associated Press, which fell into the hands of The Blue Screen’s Ralph Vacchiano. If you haven’t, it’s certainly worth the read, with Vacchiano’s comments in parentheses. My favorite line from Osi’s rambling:
“The fact is in the business we are in, if you get injured, or they feel like you under-performed, they cut you without hesitation. But if you clearly out-play your contract and ask for something to be done, you’re a bad guy and not a team player. It’s ridiculous.
Now, I can agree that players have every right to be peeved by teams being able to cut bait with declining/unhealthy players, but Umenyiora is delusional if he thinks he has “clearly outplayed his contract.” ‘Clearly,’ Osi? Well, let’s take a look.
Osi signed his deal the day before Christmas back in 2005, so I thought it might be interesting to compare him to other players around the league that played during the 5-year span between 2006-2010. I included 3-4 OLB’s, as they play a very similar position as a 4-3 DE, and omitted 3-4 DE’s, as they play more like 4-3 DT’s. Also, while sacks aren’t the end-all be-all for DE’s/OLB’s, it’s probably the easiest way to sort this list, so that’s the order that you see here. The list:
|Player||Games possible||Games played||Tackles||Tackles per games possible||Tackles per games played||Sacks||FF|
And for good measure, here are a few more players that haven’t been around since 2006, but have sack numbers that project to be better than Osi’s over a 5-year span.
|Player||Games possible||Proj games played||Proj tackles||Tackles per games possible||Tackles per game played||Projected Sacks||Projected FF|
Obviously, Osi missed an entire season when he tore his ACL during the 2008 preseason, which hurt his numbers. Fair or not, injuries and missed time affect what you’ll be paid in the NFL – Not really saying anything groundbreaking there. But it should be noted that only two players on these lists didn’t miss a single game due to injury over the past 5 years (DeMarcus Ware played in all 80, and Trent Cole only missed the Week 17 game last year vs. Dallas because the Eagles were already locked into the 3 seed).
It should also be noted that Osi’s ability to force fumbles is excellent, as only Ware and James Harrison have more.
But there are (24) 4-3 DE’s or 3-4 OLB’s in the NFL that either have more sacks or project to have more sacks than Umenyiora since he signed his contract extension 5 years ago. Look at the number of tackles. They confirm what our eyes tell us when watching the Giants – that Osi is completely one-dimensional.
So, has Osi “clearly outplayed his contract?” Not even close.