Friday, July 29, 2011
Umenyiora to Ravens makes a lot of sense
By James Walker
The Baltimore Ravens desperately need a pass-rusher.
Osi Umenyiora wants a raise and potentially a change of scenery.
Are Osi and the Ravens a great match? I think so.
With few pass-rushers available in free agency, the Ravens would be wise to make their best possible pitch to the New York Giants for Umenyiora, who is unhappy. He had 11.5 sacks last season, which is only 15.5 fewer than the Ravens had as a team.
Baltimore plans to be more aggressive getting to the quarterback this year. But for the most part, the talent along the front seven is the same, with linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs being the only natural pass-rusher of that group. Umenyiora and Suggs could be the dynamic one-two punch new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano and head coach John Harbaugh are looking for.
The Ravens recently cleared cap space by getting rid of veterans Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, Kelly Gregg and Willis McGahee. Using some of that room to acquire a player the caliber of Umenyiora and giving him a new contract would make for a successful offseason.
Baltimore already upgraded its coverage by adding cornerback Jimmy Smith. But someone needs to get to the quarterback. Suggs can't do it all by himself for a second year in a row.