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Report: Falcons Have Discussed Osi Umenyiora, Dwight Freeney

Another sign that the team is looking for help at pass rusher.


When you're a team that managed just 29 sacks in 2012, you're looking for pass rushing help wherever you can get it. We should not be surprised that the AJC reports the team has discussed a pair of veteran pass rushers internally.

Those pass rushers are Osi Umenyiora and Dwight Freeney, and both come with a history of production and injury-and-age-related red flags. Freeney is still getting after the passer and is healthier, but he's also older and had just five sacks a year ago. Osi Umenyiora is younger and was transitioning to more of a situational pass rusher role already, but he still put up six sacks a season ago. He's got that nagging injury history, too.

The bottom line here is this: The Falcons want established pass rushers, ones that won't command expensive, long-term contracts. Both of these players are in the last few years of their respective careers, both would be improvements to the Falcons' anemic pass rush and both have extensive experience in the 4-3 look the team is currently in. If they would come on board for a couple of years at a relative discount, the Falcons could and probably should pull the trigger.

If the Falcons signed one, it could mean the end of John Abraham in Atlanta, though essentially swapping Abe out for two other guys on the wrong side of 30 doesn't seem like the smartest move given his production a year ago. If the team can sign one on and keep Abe—perhaps by axing other expensive players like Michael Turner and Dunta Robinson—then the defensive end rotation would suddenly look pretty nice.

At this point, though, we're talking about internal discussions, and nothing more. If the Falcons are going to move on either player, expect them to be aggressive in the days following the new league year's opening on March 12.

Your thoughts on Umenyiora and Freeney?