Umenyiora won't be bench player

Updated: February 5, 2010, 8:33 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora threatened to quit football if he doesn't get his starting job back in an interview on New York radio station WFAN.

"I'm not going to be a back up player, I can promise you that," Umenyiora told the radio station. "I'll stop playing football before I do that ever again. This has been just the worst offseason of my entire life. 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 missed the 2008 following knee surgery and struggled to regain his form. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Mathias Kiwanuka for the final weeks of the season.

"Obviously you come through a situation where you've been here for a long time and you've won Super Bowls, you've been to the Pro Bowl a couple of times, then things like that start happening, you start being benched and they say you're coming in on the third down rush, I think it almost seemed like the writing was on the wall at that particular time," he told the radio station. "I felt like I had worn out my welcome, because for certain people, no matter what happens, they'll never take them out of the lineup, you understand what I mean?

"So I felt that way. I felt like maybe it was my last year because of that situation. But you never know man. I hope it's not. I hope things can be rectified and things can be resolved. But we'll see."

Umenyiora's contract runs through 2012.