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Osi Umenyiora is now a Chief ??????????


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Umenyiora: Call Me 'Chief'

Osi Umenyiora is now a Chief.

 

Seriously.

 

“From now on, you must refer to me as Chief Umenyiora,” the Giants defensive end said today.

 

Turns out, Umenyiora took an offseason trip to Nigeria, where he spent five years as a child, and while he was there he became a real Chief.

 

7c005kav.jpgHow? “I can’t really tell you that or else I’ll have to kill you,” Umenyiora said. “But it was cool, man. There was a ritual we had to perform. And it cost a lot of money, to be honest with you.”

 

And what, exactly, does a Nigerian Chief get to do? “I have my constituents – mostly quarterbacks,” he said. “You can call me Chief of the Quarterbacks around here.”

 

By the way, Mathias Kiwanuka spent three weeks in Uganda this offseason, but did not become a Chief.

 

“Not yet,” he said. “I’m a Pro Bowl away from that, apparently.”

 

That was my personal highlight of today’s mostly uneventful media access day. There were a few other interesting items:

 

-- Eli Manning is trying to convince Jeremy Shockey and Plaxico Burress to return to New Jersey in mid-April when he starts throwing so they can work out with him at least twice per week. So far they’ve been noncommittal. But if they don’t come up, don’t expect Eli to go down to Miami to work out with them. “No,” he said. “I’m up here. This is where I have to be. All the other players are here. It’s my responsibility to be here with the teammates. This is where our offseason program is.”

 

-- Backup offensive lineman Grey Ruegamer has re-signed with the Giants. He had a one-year deal for the league minimum on the table, so I’m guessing those were the terms. An official announcement is expected on that later.

 

-- Justin Tuck may end up switching to defensive tackle this season, though no decision has been made on that. His recovery from foot surgery is coming along OK. He had the screws taken out a week ago and can run on a treadmill. His status for mini-camp is unclear, but he said “I will be at training camp, no question.”

 

-- David Diehl has not been officially told that he’s going to be the left tackle this season, though he certainly knows that’s how it seems. One thing is certain, though: “I’m not going to play left tackle,” right tackle Kareem McKenzie said.

 

-- It looks like new linebacker Kawika Mitchell is penciled in on the strong side, because Gerris Wilkinson is expecting to get a shot at starting on the weak side. “The way it’s all set up, it’s up to me,” Wilkinson said. “It’s what you want. It’s a chance to be starting.”

 

-- Amani Toomer said his recovery from a torn ACL is coming along fine, and it might even be a little ahead of schedule. It’s still unclear whether he’ll be ready to go full-speed in training camp, though he is hopeful.

 

-- Tiki Barber’s old locker is now occupied by safety Jason Bell.

 

  • * *
By the way, there have been a lot of rumors recently about Michael Strahan possibly being traded or possibly holding out. Here’s what I know about it:

 

Strahan has two more years left on his contract at $4 million each. Because of the $15 million divorce payment he was hit with in January, he obviously needs some cash. So he had a meeting with members of the Giants’ front office back in March where he asked for more money and was told “No.”

 

According to several team sources, the Giants have no intention of trading Strahan. Obviously they’re not going to cut him, either.

 

Recently there was a report that indicated Strahan might hold out. But his agent, Tony Agnone, called that “Total fiction” in an e-mail to the Daily News yesterday.

 

Strahan, as usual, isn’t talking, and you never really know with him. But from what I can tell, he’s going nowhere and he’ll be at training camp on time in July.

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-- Justin Tuck may end up switching to defensive tackle this season, though no decision has been made on that. His recovery from foot surgery is coming along OK. He had the screws taken out a week ago and can run on a treadmill. His status for mini-camp is unclear, but he said “I will be at training camp, no question.”

That boy better be eating. He need to do a "Reverse Jared" if he's gonna move inside.

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