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NFL Free Agency 2013: Why Osi Umenyiora Fits In Atlanta

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The veteran pass rusher isn't The Falcoholic's favorite pickup, but he is a good one.

Jeff Zelevansky

Osi Umenyiora is not John Abraham. He's not Elvis Dumervil. Nonetheless, he is a pass rushing specialist on a team in sore need of them.

Going into the off-season, Osi was not my first choice. He was not even my second or third choice. Now that this has happened....'s time to acknowledge a few things about Osi Umenyiora:

  • He's an excellent pass rusher with a track record. He has 75 career sacks.
  • He is coming off a down year, with his lowest sack total since 2006.
  • He's younger than Dwight Freeney and John Abraham, and just a little older than Elvis Dumervil.
  • He automatically becomes the best pass rusher on the roster, if he signs
This is the kind of low-cost, low-risk signing the Falcons have been thought to be interested in throughout the off-season. While Osi could be dropping off a cliff at 31, it's more likely that he's just a one-dimensional player coming off a down year. That's not necessarily a bad thing.

The Falcons are going to show some interesting looks to opposing offenses if they bring Osi on, because they already have five or six guys in the fold who can play at least some defensive end. They can stick Osi and Massaquoi on the field at the same time to get some real pass rushing juice, throwing Matthews and Biermann out there for run-stopping or, I dunno, put Jonathan Babineaux on one end and Biermann on the other and send no clear signals at all. There's some versatility to this hypothetical group.

What Osi brings to the table, of course, would be the best pure pass-rushing skills on the roster, unless Mass has developed beyond our wildest dreams. The Falcons need a pass rusher in the John Abraham mold, and Osi's still an explosive athlete who can be a difference maker. He's just going to be used in a very specific role if he's brought aboard, one the Falcons happen to need.

Do you think the Falcons will lock up Osi in the near future?

Related Link

Osi Umenyiora visits Falcons