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Umenyiora says he's headed back to Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora is returning to work for the New York Giants without a new contract.

In an email to the AP on Sunday evening, Umenyiora said he plans to practice today at training camp, and that he will play this season under the terms of his current contract.

Umenyiora said the Giants offered to put incentives in his contract, which will pay him $7.1 million over the next two seasons, but he rejected them.

"No deal has been reworked," Umenyiora told the AP. "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 NFL veteran hasn't practiced since reporting to training camp on 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.

Reese has refused to discuss what was said between them.

The 29-year-old Umenyiora shared the team lead with 11.5 sacks last season and forced a league-high 10 fumbles.

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.

Umenyiora gave indications on Wednesday that he might practice soon when he did some work with trainers simulating snaps. He went to Atlanta on Thursday and got a second opinion on his knee.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said on Sunday that team doctors cleared Umenyiora for practice, and hours later Umenyiora told The AP that he would take the field today.

"I will play under my old deal," he said.

Umenyiora's decision came one day after second-year defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul recorded two sacks and played an excellent game in the Giants' 20-10 loss to Carolina in the preseason opener.


Graham beats Graham

ASHBURN, Va. -- This was yet another kick-off that had very little return.

The Washington Redskins' duel of the kicking Grahams, which was supposed to provide some special teams drama throughout the preseason, lasted all of one game thanks to a sudden wild streak from one of the most reliable veterans of all time.

Shayne Graham was cut by the Redskins on Sunday, two days after he shanked a 29-yard field goal attempt and also missed a 49-yarder in Friday's 16-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The move leaves incumbent Graham Gano, who ranked last in field goal accuracy in the NFL last season, as the only kicker in training camp. Gano hit from 32, 34 and 45 yards against the Steelers.

"We haven't solved our kicking issue," special teams coach Danny Smith said.


Jets have work to do

HOUSTON -- 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 the preseason against Houston tonight (8 p.m., ESPN).

The Texans, meanwhile, are eager to see how well they've learned Wade Phillips' new 3-4 defensive scheme. Houston's defense can only improve after ranking last against the pass last season (267.5 yards per game), the main culprit in a 6-10 record.

Tonight's game would've been notable for the resurfacing of Burress, who signed with the Jets on 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.

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