You may recall that Mike Smith was positive but noncommittal about Osi Umenyiora's future with the team during his comments at the NFL Scouting Combine.
From what I'm gathering from Smith's statement on Umenyiora, it depends on how many pass rushers are added in free agency/draft— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) February 20, 2014
Today, we're learning why, as the Falcons are reportedly asking Osi to take a paycut.
Falcons are asking DE Osi Umenyiora to take a pay cut, source tells @FOXSports1. Slated to make $3.5m in '14. We'll see how this resolves.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 6, 2014
It's not immediately apparent how large the cut they're asking for is, but this makes the team's offseason plans fairly evident. If Osi takes the cut he'll return as a part-time player, and if he doesn't the Falcons may choose to cut him and bring in a few million dollars. That indicates that they plan to be active in free agency and will add one to two pass rushers, regardless of what happens with Umenyiora.
Personally, I hope the two sides work it out and Osi returns. He's still a useful pass rusher and his contract is up after this season anyways. The caveat here is that if the team believes Malliciah Goodman and Jonathan Massaquoi are ready to take major steps forward plus add talent to linebacker and defensive end, it is fair to wonder whether he's a necessary player.
I'd still be mildly surprised to see Osi cut. Would you?