Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora is returning to work for the Giants without a new contract.
In an e-mail to the Associated Press last night, Umenyiora said he plans to practice today and that he will play this season under the terms of his current contract.
Umenyiora said the Giants offered to put incentives in his contact, which will pay him $7.1 million over the next two seasons, but he rejected them.
“No deal has been reworked,’’ Umenyiora said. “What has been offered has been unacceptable and shows they don’t really respect the fact I sacrifice my health for the franchise. I will play under my current deal because I love and respect my coaches, my teammates, the fans, and myself. Not for those incentives.’’
The nine-year veteran hasn’t practiced since reporting to training camp July 30, a day late. He failed to report on time because he alleged that general manager Jerry Reese told him after last season that the team would rework his contract.
The Giants told Umenyiora not to practice after he reported to training camp, but a couple of days later the team said he wasn’t working out because of a sore left knee. Giants coach Tom Coughlin said yesterday that team doctors cleared Umenyiora for practice.
The Giants may bring another kicker into camp with Lawrence Tynes bruising his left thigh in Saturday night’s 20-10 loss to the Panthers. Coughlin wasn’t sure how long Tynes would be out. Tynes missed two field goals and had another kick blocked.
Jets get started The return of Plaxico Burress will have to wait. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has work to do with his other receivers anyway when New York opens its preseason schedule against the Texans tonight in Houston.
The game would’ve been notable for the resurfacing of Burress, who signed with the Jets July 31 after serving a 20-month prison sentence on a gun charge. But Burress won’t even make the trip to Texas after spraining his left ankle in practice last week.
In his limited time, Sanchez can focus on building chemistry with free agent pickup Derrick Mason, and reconnecting with go-to receiver Santonio Holmes.
“I think this team has the potential to surpass what we did last year,’’ Sanchez said, “but it starts with this first game.’’
The Jets ranked 22d in passing offense last season (202.6 yards per game), and Sanchez ranked 27th in passer rating among starters (75.3).
Jets backup quarterback Mark Brunell is questionable after injuring a finger Saturday.
Going with Gano The Redskins cut Shayne Graham, leaving incumbent Graham Gano as lone kicker at training camp. Graham shanked a 29-yard field goal attempt and also missed a 49-yarder in Friday’s win over Pittsburgh. Gano was 3 for 3 against the Steelers . . . Former Yale tight end Nate Lawrie signed a one-year contract with the 49ers . . . The Lions waived offensive tackle Tony Ugoh.