After waiting to become a free agent for years, Osi Umenyiora has found a new team.
Umenyiora will be a Falcon after agreeing to a two-year deal for $8.5 million with a max value of $12 million, including $5 million of it guaranteed, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported.
While it is probably not the lucrative contract Umenyiora had been hoping for, it still was likely more than the Giants would have been able to pay him.
The Giants were expected to watch Umenyiora walk in free agency. The defensive end had been with the Giants since the team drafted him in the second round in 2003.
Umenyiora has been looking forward to becoming a free agent for years after becoming disenchanted with a six-year extension he signed back in 2005. He has long maintained that he is a starting defensive end in this league and wants to be paid like a starter.
Umenyiora, who overcame knee and hip injuries, will be remembered for being a major part of a ferocious pass rush that helped the Giants win two Super Bowls. His speed around the edge and ability to swipe the ball out of quarterback’s hands will be missed.
Umenyiora, 31, had 75 sacks and 32 forced fumbles during his time as a Giant. He set the franchise record with an unforgettable six sacks against Donovan McNabb and the Eagles in a game in 2007. In 2010, he had 11.5 sacks and tied an NFL record with 10 forced fumbles.
But the Giants’ pass rush needs to get younger. It is likely that Mathias Kiwanuka will return to being a full-time defensive end now. Tuck will need to have a bounce-back season and hopefully the injury bug will not bite him in 2013.
Of course, the Giants could draft a pass rusher in April, something Jerry Reese will likely think long and hard about at 19.
Tell us what you think of Osi finally moving on and how you want to see the Giants replace him.