After being one of the worst teams in the NFL last season when it came to reaching the quarterback, it’s expected of the New York Jets to look at bringing in premier pass rushers. Osi Umenyiora, considering hitting free agency this off-season instead of re-signing with the New York Giants, is one of them.
It doesn’t really matter that Umenyiora, who does his best work out of the 4-3 defense the Giants are known for, doesn’t really suit the kind of 3-4 defense the Jets use. He can be utilized as a situational rusher, but it’s hard to see how the two time All-Pro will be happy with that kind of role on the Jets. Another issue is his age: 31, and Umenyiora, making $4 million a season, isn’t going to look for a cheap payday or a short contract, despite injury problems in the past.
The two time Super Bowl champion isn’t exactly unique in his playing style, with the draft filled with players that might be better suited for the Jets, not to mention being younger: Jarvis Jones (Georgia), Demontre Moore (Texas A&M), Barkevious Mingo (LSU) and Bjoern Werner (Florida State).
Still, it’s an option worth checking out, and Umenyiora himself, after ten seasons with the Giants in which he recorded 75 sacks (10th among active players) and forced 32 fumbles, is keen on finding a new team. The Jets, mostly due to his past connection with head coach Rex Ryan, are obviously an option he’s seriously looking into.
Rex Ryan, when I was coming out of college he was with Baltimore at the time and he came down to work me out at Troy, he came to Atlanta, just me and him. We had a pretty good time out there so I’ve always enjoyed him as a coach and as a person. That might be a good fit.
But Ymenyiora isn’t shutting the door on remaining with the Giants, ending his career with the team he started it all on: Hopefully that’ll happen. I prefer to finish out my career there. But there’s a lot of things in play here. It’s not going to be totally my decision. They’re going to have some decisions to make also. It’s going to be a collective effort. My agent’s going to have his say. Hopefully things will work out there. I prefer to stay there.