A report surfaced on Twitter today that the Baltimore Ravens have offered the New York Giants a third-round draft pick in exchange for Osi Umenyiora.
We have been seeing speculation about Umenyiora to the Ravens ever since it was announced a few days ago that the Ravens would be without Terrell Suggs for the 2012 season due to a torn Achilles Tendon. Does any of this make any sense? Would this be something the Giants would actually do?
Let's take a closer look.
From the Giants' perspective
We speculated prior to the 2012 NFL Draft that the Giants might be willing to deal Umenyiora, and reports at that time indicated the belief that the Giants would take a third-round draft choice for the supremely talented yet perennially disgruntled defensive end.
No trade happened during the draft, of course. Were there offers? We will never really know. If, however, the Giants did not trade Umenyiora for a draft pick they could have used to stock the 2012 roster why would they trade him for a draft pick now? That makes no sense to me.
By now, general manager Jerry Reese is used to Umenyiora's whining. In some fashion it happens every offseason, and it has really just become nothing more than background noise.
The Giants hold all the cards here. Umenyiora is signed to a contract for another year. He can certainly complain all he wants, but if he wants to get paid at all he has no choice but to play out the contract he signed. If he was going to go all Jeremy Shockey and blow up his relationship with the Giants with verbal grenades he would have done that by now.
The Giants' best play at this point is to simply ride out the Umenyiora storm and have No. 72 in uniform -- happily or unhappily -- next fall.
From the Ravens' perspective
Clark Judge of CBS Sports can go on and on all he wants about how Umenyiora is the obvious pass-rushing choice for the Ravens to target as a Suggs replacement. All that does is make me question how much Clark Judge actually knows.
How does Umenyiora in a Ravens' uniform make any sense at all?
Last time I checked the Ravens play a 3-4 defense. Umenyiora is a classic 4-3 pass-rushing defensive end. He barely acknowledges the existence of the running game and does an adequate at best job against it when he does try to play the run.
In the 3-4, defensive ends are generally not premiere pass rushers. They are really glorified defensive tackles, anchoring against the run and swallowing up blockers to allow the linebackers behind them to make plays. That is not Umenyiora.
How about Osi as a 3-4 outside linebacker? I don't see how that would work, either. The Giants love to drop linemen into coverage, but Umenyiora is almost never asked to do that. Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Mathias Kiwanuka, even Dave Tollefson when he was a Giant would do that at times. Umenyiora? Almost never.
Heading into his ninth year in the league and with troublesome knees standing up and dropping into coverage is not a skill I can see Umenyiora mastering at this point in his career.
Maybe there is something here. Maybe the Giants would be better off to just cut their losses with Umenyiora and move on. Maybe the Ravens would play some 4-3 in passing situations to accommodate Umenyiora's skills. Right now, though, I am not able to wrap my head around how this move would make any sense.