After being on the market for a while, Osi Umenyiora might eventually return to the New York Giants after not getting the kind of dollar love he expected from the interested teams, among them the Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions. While money isn’t the only thing that’s important to him in his next choice of play, it’s probably his biggest concern.
After nine seasons with the Giants, Umenyiora had enough, and the Giants had enough of him. Of threats before training camp, of wanting more money, of not being pleased with the role he has on the team, not to mention that he is getting older and less of a force in the defensive line, despite getting 6 sacks last season, playing in all 16 games (Starting four of them).
The initial thought on Osi’s next destination was the Atlanta Falcons. They released John Abraham, they have a need for a pass rusher, and Umenyiora, 32, has a home in Atlanta which made for the perfect combination. Alas, the offer he got from the Falcons wasn’t the one he’d think he’d get. In general, defensive ends haven’t been getting the kind of money some thought the’d be commanding this offseason, with half of the bigger names going to the same team.
The Detroit Lions, losing Cliff Avril to the Seattle Seahawks, have more cap space than in the beginning of the period, thanks to Suh and Calvin Johnson restructuring their contracts in order to give their team more flexibility and compete for what’s remaining on the market, not to mention sign their top draft picks. Umenyiora might be a good fit with the Lions but again, it’s mostly a matter of dollars for him, and knowing he’s been counted on as a starting defensive end. Same goes for the Dolphins, who have mostly been stocking up on receivers and such so far.
There’s still the option of the New York Giants, the only team Umenyiora has played for in his NFL career. That can only happen, and there will be some sort of hometown discount for the Giants, if he knows he’ll be playing more than last season. While the Giants are considering bringing him back, there’s a small chance he’ll be the first choice at right defensive end, if he does come back.