Umenyiora signs 1-day contract to retire as a New York Giant
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora has retired as a member of the New York Giants.
Umenyiora, who won two Super Bowls with the Giants, signed a one-day contract Wednesday and announced his retirement after 12 NFL seasons, the first 10 with New York and last two in Atlanta.
The retirement was three weeks in the making, and Umenyiora joked about it.
''I just want you guys to know that for the past three weeks, I've been in negotiations with Jerry Reese about the terms of this one-day contract,'' the former Troy University player said. ''I wanted a two-day contract. You know, obviously, Jerry wasn't going for that. So, we finally settled on the one-day contract, and I'm here.''
Umenyiora also talked about a person not there on Wednesday, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. He is undergoing rehabilitation in Florida after injuring his hand in a fireworks accident on July 4.
Umenyiora spoke with Pierre-Paul about two weeks ago and he said he was in good spirits.
''Whenever he's ready, he's going to be back, there's no doubt about that,'' said Umenyiora, who mentored `JPP' as a rookie in 2010.
''This team needs him. I think he knows that, I think everybody knows that. You've got a truly dominant football player. I haven't seen one like him since (Michael) Strahan, honestly. So I think the team needs him, he needs this team. He has to come back, and I think he will come back and be strong.
Umenyiora had 75 of his 85 sacks with the Giants, fourth on the franchise's list, trailing only Strahan (141 1/2) and Lawrence Taylor (132 1/2) and Leonard Marshall (79 1/2). The 2003 second-round draft choice set the team's one-game record, recording six against Philadelphia in September 2007.
''Osi was certainly one of the premier defensive ends in the game and a key part of our two Super Bowl teams,'' Giants president and co-owner John Mara said. ''But he was much more than that. Osi had so much pride and always gave 100 percent. He represented himself and our team on and off the field like a true professional and was a great example to his teammates.''
Umenyiora said his fondest memory was beating the then-unbeaten Patriots in the Super Bowl in February 2008.
''It was an amazing experience,'' Umenyiora said. ''It was a dream-like experience. There was really nothing like winning that first Super Bowl. The second one was good, but the first one was unreal.''
Umenyiora, who had two sacks last season, holds the Giants' record with three touchdowns on fumble returns.
The NFL has hired Umenyiora to work in London.
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