Though much of Atlanta's defensive makeup remains uncertain at the moment, Falcons fans should be able to count on Osi Umenyiora's presence next season.
Umenyiora will return in 2014, no restructured deal http://t.co/4MK9lcqLsJ— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) March 22, 2014
DOL over at the AJC reports that the team will indeed keep the 32 year-old former New York Giant around for the second and final year of the contract he signed last March. This comes despite speculation that the Falcons would part ways with Umenyiora as they move to a more 3-4-oriented defensive. A previous report that the veteran had been asked to take a pay cut only heightened those suspicions.
But now it appears settled: Umenyiora will stay in Atlanta for at least one more year. He is set to make $2.5 million in base salary plus a $500,000 roster bonus due on March 26th, and his 2014 cap number is expected to fall around $4.75 million.
In the end, this is about the Falcons keeping a capable pass-rusher at a reasonable price. He's not going to blow anybody away at this stage in his career and his ability to fit in a 3-4 alignment remains something of a question mark, but he's still a guy that notched a team-high 7.5 sacks and 29 QB hurries last season on 744 total snaps.
As it stands, Umenyiora, Kroy Biermann and Jonathan Massaquoi would project as the team's top outside linebackers in 2014, though Umenyiora may be in for a more part-time role in an effort to give the younger edge rushers more meaningful playing time. It also clearly remains a position of need that the team should address in the draft.
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