Andrew Brandt “hearing” that the Giants not only gave Osi Umenyiora more money, but also agreed not to franchise tag him. WHAT?!?

Not only will you free me, but you will agree not to franchise tag me.

Seven and a half years ago, the United States captured Saddam Hussein, who was hiding, literally, in a hole in the ground.  To this day, I still remember watching Jon Stewart from the Daily Show making fun of Saddam, who reportedly emerged from the hole, and in English said:

“My name is Saddam Hussein. I am president of Iraq. I want to negotiate.”

Stewart, in some sort of voice that he thought Saddam might sound like, imitated Saddam trying to negotiate his way out of the jam from a position that couldn’t be any weaker.

So, eh, you’ll set me free.  I, uh, have a hole. It’s a pretty nice hole. You can lie down in it.

Here’s the video (1:14 mark):

 

Osi Umenyiora, similarly to Saddam Hussein, had zero leverage.  He was in the final year of his deal, and it wasn’t like he was going to sit out the season.  He needed to play, and play well if he was expecting to get mega-dollars in his walk year in 2013.  His only recourse was to pout the entire season, which he’s been doing anyway for about the last 3 or 4 years.

So what was “not pouting” worth?  According to multiple Giants beat writers, about an extra $3 million and no extra years.  OK, so whatever.  They rid themselves of a headache, Osi is happy again, and they’re out $3 mil.  Fine.

But here’s the part that’s crazy.  According to Andrew Brandt of National Football Post, the Giants also agreed that they can’t franchise tag him after the 2012 season.

WHAT?!?!?  So did the Giants offer Osi an extra $3 million, asking for no concessions in return whatsoever, and Osi said, “Nope. An extra $3 mil isn’t enough.  You also need to forfeit the right to tag me after the season.”  And the Giants said yes?  If Brandt’s report is true, that’s just un-Godly horrific negotiating by Jerry Reese. So to recap (again, if accurate):

Osi gets: The Giants get:
An extra $3 million. Um… They get a player who has been bitching for 4 years to stop bitching?
The Giants can’t franchise tag Osi in 2013.

Wow.

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    The Giants don’t franchise tag players (Weatherford was temporarily, but that really does not count). The franchise tag is an act of desperation. It’s short term thinking, bad business. When the Giants want to keep or sign a guy, he gets a long-term deal. Look at what Osi, Tuck, Kiwi, Canty, Boley, Webster, Rolle, Eli, Snee, Diehl, McKenzie, Baas, Bradshaw got. All 4 years plus, most 5+. Osi’s not getting the tag. Neither is Cruz, Nicks, Beatty, or Phillips. You either sign the guy, or you make plans to move on. Giants have let a bunch of guys walk when their price was too high. Manningham and Jacobs. Gibril Wilson when they had absolutely no one at safety.

    The money is more ridiculous. $3 mil is a lot, I could see $1 mil. Maybe Osi is right and Reese promised him more, and Reese is trying to keep his word.

    1. They used the tag on Jacobs, in ’09 I believe, and a few weeks later he signed a long-term deal. I agree that the tag isn’t cap friendly, but it is a tool to allow teams to ensure that they keep their best players. The Giants need Osi this year. They may find that they really need Osi next year, and (again, if Brandt is correct) they won’t have that tool at their disposal.

      1. ct17 says:

        Giants are in cap trouble. At the limit, with Cruz RFA and Phillips and Beatty UFA in 2013, Nicks UFA in 2014. We’re hoping this mysterious “TV money” actually appears in 2014.

        The Giants want to keep Osi. That is why he is still on the roster. The problem is that they have limited dollars, and the young player in their prime is a more attractive candidate for a new contract than the old player with bad knees. Kiwanuka just got his contract extension.

        Giants fans are hoping for one of the many attractive DEs in the 2013 draft class.

  135. NYG_slater says:

    Jimmy….the tag costs for a DE is at 10.6 million for 2012. Likely to go up over 11 million for 2013. There was no chance in hell they tag him at that price. None, zippo, nada. Osi negotiated this contract himself. This was his clause to make sure he see’s FA next year. In your scenario of JPP and Tuck getting hurt (unlikely but w/e) the solution wouldnt be tagging osi. You don’t fix that type of disaster by compounding it with a bad business decision.

    Remember, this is Osi. The same guy who thought he was a top 5 DE 2 years ago when he called JR a liar in court documents. If he thinks he’s a top 5 DE, I’d imagine he thinks he could get tagged. But we both know otherwise.

    1. deg0ey says:

      What about the scenario where other players refuse to sign contract extensions unless the Giants give them the same guarantees that Osi got regarding the franchise tag? It’s not a problem to make that offer to Osi because, as you say, he wouldn’t get it anyway. But now that a precedent has been set, what happens if JPP or Nicks or Joseph or Phillips start demanding the same thing? Could make a sticky situation for the Giants in the future.

      1. NYG_slater says:

        not likely. Osi’s bitching originated from the absurd 7 year contract he signed earlier. You don’t see 7 year contracts like that anymore because a good players market value shifts dramatically and antiquates the contract before it expires. The players you reference “JPP Nicks Joseph and Phillips” are all on rookie contracts. Rookies want extensions heading into their final contract year, this is nothing new (McCoy, Djax, “insert every rookie in the NFL”) The problem is they can’t “demand” because they need to accumulate “years” in the NFL to become a FA asap. So Osi’s was situation was fundamentally different and unrelated to these future negotiations.

        If anything the giants treatment of Osi will help these future negotiations. Nobody expected osi to get a new deal/re-structured deal, because Osi had no leverage. We have JPP, Tuck, and he’s under contract. But sweetening his deal shows the younger guys that performance based payouts are possible w/ the giants and that the organization is loyal to its players that perform. Same thing applies to the Kiwi deal.

      2. NYG_slater says:

        as for the precedent regarding the franchise tag. I’d imagine they’d deny it but i wouldnt be surprsed if players coming off of rookie contracts welcomed the tag for 1 year. Thats why they all sign it eventually. Its a like a 500%+ raise in pay for one year and they get to have FA the year after. Win-win. The franchise tag hurts older veterans like Osi, or guys like Wes Welker a lot more. These guys are either playing on borrowed time, or are heading into the twilight of their career. They have 1 more payday left in them, and anything that can delay that (the tag) is a threat. Sure Nicks, JPP, Joseph, Phillips would all rather have long term deals vs being franchise tagged, but i doubt it would come to the point of them sitting a year, or refusing to sign an extension without an “Osi you-cant-tag-me clause”. These guys have youth on their side. Osi doesn’t

    2. I disagree that there’s no chance that they wouldn’t tag him. 12.5 sacks and 3 FF in 13 games last year. 10 FF (single season NFL record) in 2010. He makes plays.

      Look at the deal Mario Williams got this offseason. Obviously, he’s a little younger than Osi, but he’s making 16 mil per year, and his career hasn’t been any better than Osi’s.

      As long as they’re not losing players to accommodate the bump in pay, 11 mil for an impact player at a premium position isn’t so crazy, in my opinion.

  136. Tracer Bullet says:

    You’re a new father, Jimmy. Surely you can understand that $3 million is NOTHING when it comes to finally getting some peace and quiet.

  137. Gary says:

    I guess the squeaky wheel gets the grease (if “grease” is an extra $3 million and a guarantee not to be franchise-tagged).

  138. Tim says:

    The Giants probably assumed that they would NEVER franchise tag Osi. After all, the DE franchise number is huge, and Osi is not close to worth it (worth it = top 5 at his position). If you’re going to write numerous articles about how Anthony Spencer is not worth the franchise tag and franchising him was a big mistake (which is not necessarily wrong), then you can’t argue for paying Osi top 5 DE money and taking a monster one year cap hit.

    Giving players money and occasionally negotiating with them results in more benefits than just the individual player ceasing his whining. It also shows your internal players and future free agents that you are a more player-friendly franchise that can be “trusted” or whatever you want to call it. And as cited above, the Giants are giving up relatively little here– a couple extra million in a year they’re not cap-strapped, and the ability to franchise a player they would never franchise anyway.

    1. A year is an eternity in the NFL. A lot can happen. As I said already in the comment section here, what if JPP tears an ACL in the playoffs? What if Tuck suddenly hits a massive decline?

      Your next guy up is Justin Trattou, which means you’re probably spending a boatload on some DE in free agency or counting on a rookie in 2013. In that scenario, wouldn’t you at least like to have the tag at your disposal?

      All I’m saying is… You’re giving Osi a $3 million raise… and asking nothing in return. Why unnecessarily sweeten the pot by forfeiting the option to tag him?

      1. Tim says:

        It’s still all speculation, but I would guess two things: 1) they didn’t give up the tag unnecessarily– it was a major sticking point of Osi’s and for whatever reason, they apparently felt they needed to placate him (possibly for some of the reasons I alluded to above– there are ancillary benefits to treating players well), and 2) they don’t believe that Osi will EVER, no matter what the roster depth circumstances, be worthy of a DE franchise tag. Which I understand, and seems similar to your Anthony Spencer arguments this past offseason (when the Cowboys had no depth at OLB and no viable FA options).

        1. See, personally, I don’t think the Spencer-Osi comparisons apply. Osi is proven bigtime NFL player/playmaker. Spencer is a run of the mill OLB. Osi is a far more valuable player than Spencer.

  139. BBI says:

    Don’t really see how this is terrible negotiation. The Giants lose, what basically amounts to $1.5 million in 2013. The $1.5 million this year doesn’t matter too much.

    In return they have zero locker room issues this year. Everybody knows that Osi Umenyiora isn’t going to be back next year. The only way he comes back is if its a long term extension. Giants won’t have enough cap space next year to use it on a DE franchise tag designation, it was never going to happen. So they added that in there as a token of goodwill, and I (from a pro-Giants POV) think it helps Reese out in the minds of all the other players whose contracts are coming up.

    Did he have to do it? Probably not. But I don’t think its a big deal at all. Giants don’t want any DJax type performances from their players during their contract years. Negotiating in good faith does a lot to prevent that.

    1. It’s not so much the $3 million for almost nothing in return that’s the bad part. It’s the forfeiture of being able to use the franchise tag on him that’s just unreal (if Brandt’s info is good).

      1. BBI says:

        I think that everyone knows that he was not going to be franchise tagged anyway. It just makes Reese look better in the eyes of the players. If you can get some sort of rapport between the GM and the players, I think you do it….even if it doesn’t make sense on the outside.

        1. Still nice to have the option to tag him. What if JPP tears an ACL in the playoffs? What if Tuck suddenly hits a massive decline? It would be great to still have that in your back pocket. I mean… they’re giving the guy 3 million freaking dollars, and they also have to give up the right to tag him? The 3 mil isn’t enough?

          1. It’s so absurd that I’m almost afraid I posted this too early before knowing with 100% certainty that Brandt’s report is correct.

          2. BBI says:

            That’s a good point. I guess just chalk it up to confidence. They’d rather go for that goodwill and risk it.

            1. Mike says:

              Except, I don’t see this as goodwill. If you were a player in that locker room, would you be saying to yourself “That’s nice…Jerry took care of Osi, I’m really happy for everybody now!”…

              Or do you think they might be saying “Huh, if I bitch and moan loud enough…they’ll just give me more money, and give away their right to franchise me, meaning I’ll be in an incredibly strong position to negotiate with them next time my deal is up!”

              Giving away your right to franchise is just dumb, if that’s what they did. As Jimmy said, they’ve got no idea what’s going to happen next year, and giving in to a player that had zero leverage is just bad management.

            2. Mike says:

              I’ll just add this:

              You think Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for JPP, didn’t perk his ears up when he heard about this? If this turns out to be true, you don’t think that he’ll start pushing to get some more cash for his guy?

              If JPP has another year similar to the one that he just had, you don’t think Rosenhaus will use this to make a LOT of noise? And you don’t think they’ll be pushing really hard to get the same “no franchise tag”-guarantee out of Reese?

              It set a precedent, if it’s true, and while it may serve to shut Osi up right now…so what? Osi has been bitching for 3 or 4 years, and it hasn’t been a big deal. But by giving in to Osi, who had absolutely no leverage, you open the door for a lot more players to wonder “where’s mine”.

              1. giantsfan says:

                You don’t think Rosenhaus will be doing all of that stuff anyways?

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