Mathias Kiwanuka, a converted defensive end who has found a home at outside linebacker, had three years tacked onto his contract, which keeps him bound to the Giants through the 2015 season.
Kiwanuka, 29, signed a two-year contract as an unrestricted free agent last summer. That was a modest deal because he was coming off a disk injury in his neck that forced him to miss the final 13 games of the 2010 season. His neck held up and the Giants paid up.
NFL DRAFT: ROUNDS 1-3
The new three-year deal is worth $21.75 million, including a signing bonus of $8.5 million and $10.95 million in guaranteed money.
It’s a significant extension illustrating the Giants’ belief in Kiwanuka for the long haul, something the organization has thus far not been willing to show Umenyiora.
Kiwanuka was scheduled to make $4 million in base salary in 2012 but that figure has been cut to $950,000. His base salaries moving forward are $2.9 million in 2013, $4.375 million in 2014 and $4.475 million in 2015.
This cannot bode well for Umenyiora, the disgruntled defensive end. Umenyiora is entering the final year of a seven-year contract that will pay him $3.975 million, and he desperately wants a new and improved multi-year deal.
Giving Kiwanuka a new deal means there is less money to go around and strengthens the Giants’ commitment to him. Umenyiora already has lost his grasp on a starting job — Jason Pierre-Paul is ensconced at right defensive end after a 16 1/2-sack season — and the role of a pass-rush specialist is not one Umenyiora embraces.
In an email to The Post, Umenyiora wrote he is “happy’’ for Kiwanuka, adding, “He deserves every penny. Especially all he has been through. It’s a good thing.’’
Addressing his own situation, Umenyiora wrote, “As for me, I don’t know what that means, but we will see. It’s a good, smart business move by the Giants. I understand it. Take care of a good player, and buy some insurance as well. Well done.’’
Exclusive Super Bowl merchandise featuring New York Post front pages
The Giants, the Giants, Giants, Giants, defensive players, contract extension