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If Giants Cut Osi Umenyiora, Should Atlanta Falcons Pursue Him?

Well my fellow NFL fans, there has been a flury of free agency activity in only the past day. For starters, Charles Johnson is reportedly re-signing with the Panthers. In addition, Falcons interest in Ray Edwards has reportedly taken a sharp downwards turn in recent days. Thus, that leaves the Falcons still in need of another impact defensive end.

Enter Osi Umenyiora. The disgruntled Giants defensive end is reportedly going to be sitting out of training camp in an attempt to be traded. Adam Schefter has also discussed the likelihood that he will simply be cut by the Giants altogether in an attempt to free up cap space.

If the team tries to trade Osi, it would likely be a "make something out of nothing" effort by the Giants, meaning he might not cost alot in terms of players/draft picks. Umenyiora's contract is also pretty reasonable: he'll be due $3M in 2011 and about $4M in 2012.

He has had health questions in the past, including a season ending knee injury that caused him to miss all of the 2008 season. The Falcons may also want to shy away from a player that has openly refused to play for his current team. Most of all, if the Giants outright cut Umenyiora, he'll likely drive an insanely high price on the free agent market judging from Charles Johnson's ridiculous six year, $72M contract with $32M guaranteed.

However, you simply can't ignore his ability to make an impact on the field. He's posted 31.5 sacks over the last three years, and created ten turnovers on defense in 2010. Though he is only an average run defender, his top-level pass rushing ability would certainly be coveted by the Falcons.

Bottom line: if the Falcons can trade for him and keep his low contract, the Falcons should take a shot. However if Umenyiora becomes a free agent he'll be far too expensive, and I say "no, no, a thousand times no." With Kroy Biermann proving himself to be a more-than-capable defensive end, I don't think Osi is worth the inflated contract he'd likely get.

For more on the Falcons, check out The Falcoholic. For more on the Giants, check out Big Blue View.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.