Impending free-agent defensive end Osi Umenyiora said Thursday that he'd like to remain with the New York Giants but would be open to playing for other teams, including the rival New York Jets.
At an event in New Orleans promoting Super Bowl XLVIII in Meadowlands Stadium next year, Umenyiora also mentioned the Atlanta Falcons as another potential destination.
“There’s a couple of teams my agent told me he will be contacting at a later time,’’ Umenyiora told The New York Post. “I maintained to him my preference is to return to the Giants.’’
Umenyiora told the Post that the Jets would be a "good fit," and he praised Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
"Rex Ryan, when I was coming out of college he was with Baltimore at the time and he came down to work me out at Troy, he came to Atlanta, just me and him. We had a pretty good time out there so I’ve always enjoyed him as a coach and as a person. That might be a good fit. Hopefully it will be with the Giants.’’
Umenyiora said after the season that it was "probably time to move on" after 10 seasons with the Giants. Umenyiora, 31, has long pined for a new, long-term contract from the Giants. Umenyiora had six sacks and two forced fumbles last season while playing in all 16 games. He was part of a rotation that includes star defensive ends Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul. With 22 free agents of their own to re-sign, it would be complicated for the Giants to match another team in terms of money.