Giants DE Osi Umenyiora wants to start or he’s willing to walk away from football.
Umenyiora expressed his feelings Wednesday on WFAN in New York (via the New York Daily News).
Umenyiora is still reeling from being benched this season following the Giants’ Thanksgiving loss to the Broncos.
“I’m not going to be a backup player, I can promise you that,” Umenyiora said. “I’ll stop playing football before I do that ever again.
“This has been just the worst offseason of my entire life,” he added. “I can’t even think of a time when things were this bad during the offseason. You’re supposed to be relaxing, but I can’t relax because all I can think of is the things that took place last season, you understand? So for me, it’s not something that I’m going to do. If I’m asked to come back there and do that, then I’ll just stop playing football.”
Umenyiora was a second-round draft pick of the Giants in 2003 and has been selected to two Pro Bowls (2005, 2007).
Umenyiora missed the 2008 season because of a knee injury and returned to spar with now-former defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan. The Giants replaced Sheridan — the new linebackers coach for the Dolphins — with former Bills interim coach Perry Fewell.