Osi Umenyiora did not find a robust market for his services, but he has found a home with the Atlanta Falcons.
Jay Glazer broke the news Wednesday night that Umenyiora agreed to a two-year deal. The 31-year-old defensive end spent 10 years with the New York Giants and racked up 75 sacks in 129 regular season games (he missed all of 2008). Here are the contract numbers from Adam Schefter.
The two-year deal the Falcons gave former Giants DE Osi Umenyiora is worth $8.5 million, max value of $12 mil, and includes $5 million gtd.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 28, 2013
This deal will turn on whether Umenyiora's 2012 was an unfortunate blip or the start of the decline phase of his career. When healthy, Osi has been a classic pass rusher in the John Abraham mold, concentrating heavily on chasing the quarterback and serving as only an average asset against the run. When healthy and effective, he has an array of moves and a knack for pushing into the backfield and contributing hurries, hits and sacks. When he's not, he's at best a rotational end who has flashes of excellence, and a complementary piece who is next to useless against the run.
Considering the Falcons had only three defensive ends under contract before now—and two were players who have never started a game in the NFL—adding veteran help was always going to be a priority. Umenyiora will hopefully serve as a steadying veteran presence for the young ends as well as a contributor to the pass rush, and hopefully he'll be a nice fit for the team culture, as well.
Even if Umenyiora can't do more than the six sacks or so he put up a year ago, Mike Nolan will make good use of him. Because he's just 31 years old, Osi might still have a few good seasons left in him, and let's hope the Falcons get all of them. Pencil him in to split snaps with Kroy Biermann and Jonathan Massaquoi for now, but the Falcons are almost certainly not done adding talent to the position through the draft and potentially even free agency.
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