Osi Umenyiora officially becomes a member of the Atlanta Falcons, leaving the New York Giants behind. Talks between Umenyiora and the Falcons are said to be "fluid and amicable," and a resolution that will put Umenyiora in a Falcons uniform seems imminent.
The deal with Atlanta will end a productive, but often contentious 10-year relationship between the Giants and Umenyiora.
- The 31-year-old will leave the Giants with 75 career sacks over nine seasons (he missed one year while on IR), fourth in franchise history.
- Three times in his career Umenyiora reached double-digit sacks, including a career-best 14.5 in 2005.
- He made two Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro once.
- Umenyiora was a key contributor to two Super Bowl-winning teams.
- He set the NFL record for most forced fumbles in a single season when he forced 10 in 2010.
Umenyiora will leave the Giants as one of the best defensive ends in franchise history. He is on a list that includes Michael Strahan, Andy Robustelli, Leonard Marshall, George Martin, Justin Tuck and will one day include Jason Pierre-Paul.
Yet, the relationship between Umenyiora and the Giants always seemed to be an uneasy one. There were annual contract squabbles, with Umenyiora always wanted to re-negotiate the long-term deal he signed. With the emergence of Jason Pierre-Paul over the past couple of seasons the added element has been Umenyiora's decreased playing time, with him alternately fussing about and sometimes accepting his role as 'third wheel' in the Giants' defensive end rotation.
The Giants have Pierre-Paul, Tuck, possibly Mathias Kiuwanuka and a group of young players headed by Adrian Tracy to compete for playing time at defensive end.
With the Falcons, Umenyiora will replace long-time Atlanta defensive end John Abraham, cut in a salary cap move. What will the Falcons be getting?
They will get a player who can still rush the passer, as his 15 sacks over 25 games the past two regular seasons indicate. They will get a player whose run defense has always been suspect, but one who can still impact games coming off the edge and terrorizing quarterbacks.
What are your thoughts, Giants' fans, as Umenyiora officially leaves New York behind?