Umenyiora, 33, just completed his 11th NFL season. The veteran defensive end's limited playing time and the Falcons' 6-10 finish in 2014 was not the way Umenyiora envisioned concluding his career.
"Zero plans to retire at this moment," Umenyiora told ESPN. "I feel like I can still play, No. 1. The way things ended last year, I'm just not going to end my career like that. That's not going to happen.
"I feel like when put in the right situation and given the opportunity to play, I would still be able to help somebody. I want to end the way it's supposed to end."
"I think the league will let you know when you're done. Ain't no charity cases being handed out. Either they feel like you can help them or that's it for you. If you're unable to play, they'll tell you because you're not going to have a job."
Umenyiora confirmed he is mulling a media opportunity in his birthplace of London, which was first reported by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan. But Umenyiora, who trimmed down to 245 pounds, insisted playing at least one more season of football is at the forefront of his thoughts.
"I think I'll know exactly when the time [to retire] is right," Umenyiora said. "When you're physically not able to play anymore, you've got to be honest with yourself. You have to watch tape and study yourself from when you had good years, when you had not-so-good years. You have to look at your explosion, how you're playing the game; if you still want to practice. And you have to have enough pride that you're not going to go out there and embarrass yourself. You don't want to go out there and look like a fool.
"More importantly, I think the league will let you know when you're done. Ain't no charity cases being handed out. Either they feel like you can help them or that's it for you. If you're unable to play, they'll tell you because you're not going to have a job."
The Falcons and new coach Dan Quinn are expected to go in a different direction with the addition of younger pass-rushers -- a reality Umenyiora is willing to accept.
"Do I expect to get a look from the Falcons? Absolutely," Umenyiora said. "I think I did the right things when I was there, especially last year. I did and said all the right things, and I'm in great shape. Whether or not they decide to re-sign me, that's another story. But do I expect them to look into it? I would think so."
Umenyiora signed a two-year, $11 million contract with the Falcons prior to the 2013 season. He made an immediate splash with a 68-yard interception return for a touchdown in his second game with the team. Umenyiora, starting 13 of 16 games, lead the Falcons with 7.5 sacks during the 2013 campaign but was moved into designated pass rusher role by year's end.
Last season, Umenyiora played 326 of 1,038 defensive snaps and finished with just 2.5 sacks. He didn't start a single game.
Umenyiora has 85 career sacks, including 75 in nine seasons with the New York Giants. Ending his career where he started it no doubt has crossed Umenyiora's mind as he approaches free agency: He wants to retire a Giant.
"It was nearly a third of my life that I was there in New York, and I did a lot of good things there," Umenyiora said. "As a team, we won some Super Bowls. I was able to go to a couple of Pro Bowls and be like an All-Pro player over there. Unless I'm able to do that somewhere else -- which I don't know how likely that is -- then it would only make sense, whenever it is that I retire.
"I'm not going to play another 10 years. I'm not going to play another three years. Whenever it is that I retire, I think it would only make sense for me to do that as a Giant."