Osi Umenyiora To Return To Giants … Without New Contract.

 ~ The New York Football Giants could use a dose of good news and maybe Osi Umenyiora deciding that he’s ready to play football is a start. The two-time Pro Bowl defensive end let the Associated Press know that he will be returning to the Giants and start practicing without the new contract he has publicly been pursuing.

It’s become a very familiar tune for Giants fans whenever Umemyiora starts letting his feelings become known that he wants a better contract. If it’s about respect, he feels the Giants are not giving it to him. According to Umenyiora, they offered to place incentives in his current deal which would pay him $7.1 million over the next two seasons, which he rejected.

“No deal has been reworked,” Umenyiora told the AP. “What has been offered has been unacceptable and shows they don’t really respect the fact I sacrifice my health for the franchise. I will play under my current deal because I love and respect my coaches, my teammates, the fans, and myself. Not for those incentives.”

The keyword in those comments is respect, Umenyiora feels he has not received any. He’s 29 years old and knows that he needs to secure at least one more big-money deal in his career. However, Umenyiora also has been injury prone and has a knee that is questionable at best currently.

Maybe someone in Umenyiora’s corner finally was able to get through to him and let him know that if he wants teams to show him the money, he’s going to have to get on the field and put up the kind of numbers that will earn him that new deal.

 The Giants clearly showed they are not in a hurry to throw money at Umenyiora. They are still loaded at the defensive end position with Justin Tuck and the emerging Jason Pierre-Paul. Umenyiora perhaps sees the writing on the wall that the kind of money he’s looking for can’t be secured from the sidelines complaining to the anyone that is willing to listen to him.

 One of the main gripes Umenyiora has had with the Giants is that he feels their upper management did not keep their word on reworking his contract. We’ll see if he intends to keep his word and play for his teammates, coaches, and the fans.

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NFL > Giants Lose Another One, Kevin Boss To Oakland Raiders

~ It has not been a camp to remember for the New York Giants. It has not been one to remember for their fans either. Big Blue took another hit to their team’s 2011 outlook when they lost their starting tight end Kevin Boss to the Oakland Raiders. The hits just keep on coming.

Now why would Boss want to use his free agency to end up signing with Oakland of all places? How about $16 million over four years? Thats the reported deal that the Raiders put on the table for Boss to grab.Oakland needed to replace their big-time tight end Zach Miller and Boss was the next best available option. It leaves the Giants without a starting tight end and quarterback Eli Manning without his favorite target.

The Giants are strapped for cash and clearly everyone knows it. However they have to find a way to bring some peace of mind back to their fanbase. They not only didn’t get Plaxico Burress to come back, they end up losing him to the New York Jets of all teams. The Osi Umenyiora contract situation continues to be a headache for them.

Boss leaving may prove to be a huge loss for a team that is going to need as many weapons as they can get to line up against the Eagles. Losing Boss also hurts the Giants on the offensive line, he’s a great blocker. The Giants already have huge question marks on that line following the cuts to Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert.

NFL > Giants & Ahmad Bradshaw Agree To Terms

~ Ahmad Bradshaw and the New York Giants have reportedly agreed to terms on a new contract. The Giants were in danger of losing the free agent and that would have been another blow to their team.

 The New York Giants have not had the fireworks behind their off-season moves that their division rival Philadelphia Eagles have had so far. Among those included in the deep pool of free agents was Ahmad Bradshaw. The Giants were in danger of losing their explosive running back and it would have been another blow to their team’s roster. It looked as if Miami was going to land Bradshaw until they made the deal for Reggie Bush, since then there was little buzz about where else Bradshaw might go to play. Bradshaw’s new deal with the Giants is reportedly for four years  and worth 18 million, with $9 million guaranteed.

 The new salary cap has already forced the Giants to re-do their offensive line with cuts to Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert. They still have a void at tight end because Kevin Boss is now a free agent waiting for his turn at the negotiating table. Wide receiver Steve Smith is also a free agent that the Giants have to re-sign. There was enthusiasm behind the possibility of Plaxico Burress returning to the team, however Burress is now a New York Jet.

 It also remains to be seen what the Giants decide to do with Osi Umenyiora, who reportedly has been granted permission to seek a trade.

The Giants couldn’t afford to lose Bradshaw to another team. The Eagles signing of cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is going to make it very difficult for teams to pass the football effectively and puts the importance on having a strong running game. Putting Bradshaw back with Brandon Jacobs in the backfield at least brings some peace of mind to the Giants fans who may have been wondering when their team was going to make some additions instead of more subtractions.

The Potential Impact Of The New NFL Salary Cap

~ As the NFL gets closer and closer to the end of the lockout, teams are getting closer to the madness that will come once free agency starts. How the teams pick and choose through their list of free agents will be largely impacted by how much flexibility they’ll have with the 2011 salary cap of $120 million. There are quite a few teams who are presently over the cap or not too far under it. This means only one thing, there is going to be quite a few big name cap casualties.

According to John Clayton of ESPN, quite a few high profile names are going to be up for discussion when it’s time for teams to decide who stays and who leaves.

The New Orleans Saints are actually $11.7 million under the cap. They also have a high profile running back on their team named Reggie Bush who is scheduled to make $11.8 million this year. Bush might be saying all the right things lately to help assure himself of staying in New Orleans however he could very well be on his way out the door.

A change of scenery might actually do Bush some good. The Saints drafted him with high expectations after his electrifying college career at USC. That was six years ago though and the old saying goes that the real definition of the NFL is NOT FOR LONG.

 Bush has shown flashes of what he can do and he’s also been injury prone. The Saints went out and drafted running back Mark Ingram and that was an early sign that they maybe ready to withdraw from their investment in Bush.

 Bush is only 26 years old and quite a few teams could be in a position to add him and for the money that he may no longer be able to get in New Orleans.

 Bush should strongly consider moving on to another team. In this league with the way the salary cap is now going to be structured, players like Bush are going to have to maximize the best out of their long term contracts. He may only have one more left to get and it’s looking like it wont be in New Orleans.

 Where quarterback Vince Young ends up could depend on if he has matured any during his time away from the field. He couldn’t get on the same page with his former coach Jeff Fisher and that led to the  his placement on the potential cap casulaty list.

 If Young’s tenure with the Tennessee Titans is over (and all signs point to that being the case), it could clear up close to $12.8 million in cap room for the team. The Titans are currently $10.3 million under the cap.

 Young is in the same boat as Bush, he’s still young and came into the league with a lot of hype based off a succesful college career. He just has not been able to turn that hype into professional success yet. Young has shown flashes, now it’s time for him to show consistency.

 Just like in the case of Bush, there might not be room for another long term contract with the only pro team he’s played for. He’ll most likely have to do this with another team.

 

 There are some other interesting storylines to watch for that will result from teams who are already over the cap.

 The New York Jets have made the AFC championship game two seasons in a row. They’ve done well to surround their young quarterback Mark Sanchez with the right amount of pieces on offense. Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Brad Smith played large roles in their passing attack and on special teams and all three of them are up for new contracts. That’s a problem for a team that is $1.2 million over the cap and also have other roster signings to make.

 Most likely one of those three are going to be making big plays for another team. Edwards and Holmes are going to want to test the market to see if they can land a big money offer from another team. Smith’s stock is rising because of his versatile skills set.

 With the season just around the corner from starting, the Jets will have to move quickly and move smart. Randy Moss and Plaxico Burress are looming as potential free agent targets who could replace either Edwards or Holmes at an affordable price.

 The team that shares the same stadium with the Jets are also going to be in a race to get under the cap. The New York Giants are $11.3 million over the cap and still have to decide what to do with their running back free agent to be Ahmad Bradshaw.

 Bradshaw is reportedly getting interest from the Miami Dolphins which also happens to be where his agent is based and where he’s been training. How quickly the Giants can execute their plans to get under the cap could impact what happens with Bradshaw.

 I couldn’t help notice the Tampa Bay Bucs when looking at the list of teams that are under the salary cap. Being under the cap by a good amount could lead to an exciting time for a team’s fanbase. The Bucs are $59.2 million UNDER the cap. The Bucs should be big time players in free agency once the lockout concludes.

NFL > Plaxico Burress Leaves Prison & Begins A 2nd Chance

~ After spending nearly 2 years in prison on a gun charge, Plaxico Burress is a free man. The former New York Giant and Super Bowl MVP was recently released 3 months early for good behavior. The speculation will now begin as for where Burress will go to resume his NFL career. More importantly though, Burress gets a second chance at life with his family.

Burress pleaded guilty in August 2009 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to two years in prison. He’s come a long way since that night in a NYC nightclub when he  had a concealed handgun in the waistband of his pants. The weapon slipped down and discharged when he grabbed for it, injuring himself. The life as Burress had knew it, changed from that point on.

He has now paid his debt to society and gets to resume his career. There will definitely be a market available to him as soon as the NFL ends it’s Lockout status.

 He’ll be 34 years old when (and if) the season starts. The market for wide receivers this year is an interesting one. Terrell Owens and Randy Moss are available and now Burress is thrown into the mix. He says he has kept in shape while incarcerated and of course he’ll need to get in NFL game shape as well.

The buzz is strong that the Eagles are the front runners to land Burress. That would make for a very dangerous passing attack for Michael Vick. DeSean Jackson on 1 side and Burress on the other. The Giants appear to be moving away from any interest in bringing Burress back even though Eli Manning could still use that big target that helped him so much in their Super Bowl Run.

The two teams that I think will make strong pushes for Burress are the Jets and the Rams. They are also the most logical in my opinion.

The Jets are a big market team, Burress may still want to play in the New York area. The Jets are also a team that isn’t afraid to make a controversial free agent signing. They have questions to address at the wide receiver position. Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes are both up for new contracts. 

The Rams could be a good fit for Burress. St. Louis isn’t New York City, and maybe that’s what he needs at this point in his life. The Rams have a young quarterback on the rise in Sam Bradford. They need to get Bradford a big name wide receiver to throw the ball to. The head coach of the team would be someone Burress knows pretty well, Steve Spagnuolo. (Defensive Coordinator of the Giants 2008 Super Bowl Team)

Burress now returns home to his wife, his son, and a daughter that was born while he was in jail. He has to do right by them and should be thankful that he has this second chance.

Lawrence Taylor to plead guilty to misdemeanors, expects no jail time.

 ~ Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor is reportedly set to plead guilty to two misdemeanors and avoid jail time stemming from rape charges last year.

Although he could get up to two years in jail, Taylor’s attorney Arthur Aidala told ESPN that he believes Taylor will not get any jail time.

Taylor was charged with third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, sexual abuse and endangering a child. The two misdemeanor charges are soliciting a prostitute and sexual misconduct for having sex with a girl who was not old enough to give consent.

It will be determined at a later hearing whether Taylor must register as a sex offender.

*Sources: ESPN.com & Pro Football Talk

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