After so many years of arguing and having problems with management at the New York Giants, 2013 seems to be the year that Osi Umenyiora finally says goodbye to the only team he has played for in his NFL career, with the Atlanta Falcons looking like the likely next destination.
A two time Super Bowl champion with the Giants, Umenyiora has played with the G-men since 2003, most of the seasons as the starting Right Defensive End, although he did lose his place last season, making only four starts. He has recorded 75 sacks in his career, putting him at 10th among active players.
Most of the time, the arguments were about getting a bigger contract, the usual stuff. There’s also no ignoring Osi’s injury problems over the years, missing the entire 2008 season and 12 more games throughout his career with several other injuries. At 31, after a decade in the league, it seems that both sides want a fresh start.
Conveniently, the Atlanta Falcons, 10 yards away from the Super Bowl last season, released their veteran defensive end John Abraham, who played on the same side as Umenyiora, but despite being very productive at the age of 34 (10 sacks last season), his contract might not be worth paying anymore. This leaves a DE opening the Falcons need to fill, and a healthy Umenyiora will be more than fitting to come in for Abraham, who played for the Falcons since 2005.
The kicker? While the Falcons might have to see how to reduce Umenyiora’s wage demands, there is a winning card in the form of Osi living in Atlanta when it’s not NFL season. While money is a very important thing to Umenyiora, especially in the final seasons of his career, possibly living and playing closer to home during the NFL season might be enough of an incentive to pair up the two-time Pro Bowler with a team that had the best record in the NFC last season.