The Free Agent Defensive End Carousel Is Slowing Down

Ezra Shaw

The latest reports indicate we'll be seeing the market cleaned out in the near future.

The free agent defensive end market has been pretty soft thus far, to put it mildly. Players like Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett took far less than they would have just a year ago, and perfectly useful pass rushers like John Abraham and Osi Umenyiora have attracted scant interest on the open market.

If everything breaks the way Tom Condon hopes it will, that may not be true much longer. Condon is hoping to get Elvis Dumervil, Osi and Dwight Freeney, his three clients left on the market, on teams by the middle of the upcoming week. The Denver Post took a look at the comparative levels of interest among teams and sketched out the following scenario:

A home run for Condon, then, would be to sign Dumervil with the Ravens, Freeney with the Broncos and Umenyiora with the Falcons.

This is part speculation, part reporting, but what's important to note is that one of these guys signing would probably mean the other two would sign quickly. The Post reports that the Falcons are interested in Dumervil, but I have to believe that Umenyiora is the guy they'll sign, given the swirling reports. The Ravens desperately need a quality pass rusher and could easily spring for Dumervil, while the Broncos are the only team that has expressed concrete interest in Freeney.

Abraham, who is represented by a different agent, is a wild card. Denver and New England have expressed interest, but don't totally rule the Falcons out. While I suspected there was no way Abe would return after being released, the deflated market and his love for Atlanta might make it a possibility. If the Falcons walked out of free agency with Abe and Osi on top of Kroy Biermann, Jonathan Massaquoi and Cliff Matthews, the position would look a lot better than it did a week ago.

We should know soon enough which end(s) is going to land in Atlanta. Who do you think it will be?

Related Links

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