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Osi Umenyiora: I think I’ll be back in Atlanta in 2014

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The Falcons dropped a pair of veteran defenders last week in order to improve their cap situation heading into free agency, moves that left another older defensive player contemplating his future with the franchise.

Defensive end Osi Umenyiora is due to count $4.75 million agains the cap in 2014 and the team could save $3.5 million by cutting Umenyiora loose before paying him a $1 million roster bonus in mid-March. Umenyiora, who led the team with 7.5 sacks in 2013, told Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com that he’s open to the realities of the business side of football, but that he thinks he’ll remain in Atlanta for another year.

“To say that money is not a lot would be crazy because that’s a lot of money, period,” Umenyiora said. “But if you look at it strictly in football terms and what the top-tier defensive ends are getting paid. … Mario Williams, who is making like, what, $16 million per year? It’s tough for me to answer that [money] question because it all depends on what my perceived value to the team is.”

Umenyiora referred a question regarding the possibility of a pay cut to his agent and said he was fine with any role that the Falcons had in mind for him next season. Umenyiora moved into a situational pass rushing role as last season unfolded with the team giving more snaps to younger players once the season went pear-shaped on them.

The Falcons are expected to try to upgrade their pass rush through the draft and/or free agency this offseason and Umenyiora would be a helpful piece to go with any addition as long as Atlanta can make it all work financially.

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8 Responses to “Osi Umenyiora: I think I’ll be back in Atlanta in 2014”
  1. hartcarluncarlun says: Feb 11, 2014 9:56 AM

    I would restructure and keep him for one more season.

  2. beckzhere says: Feb 11, 2014 10:17 AM

    Unfortunately he performed as expected. He’s not a double digit sack guy. If Atlanta can acquire another DE that is equal to or better than Osi, then he will make a good compliment. But he’s not a clear cut #1 DE.

    I’d like to see the Falcons roll the dice on Clowney and move to a 3-4 front. With Clowney, Babineaux and Osi on the line and then Biermann, Worrilow, Spoon and Bartu as the LB’s. That might be a formidable front 7.

  3. wishingtonredslur says: Feb 11, 2014 10:26 AM

    Doesn’t even sound like the same guy from his New York days.

  4. atlfan31833 says: Feb 11, 2014 11:11 AM

    If the Falcons were going to cut him they would have done it with Samuel and Nicholas so that he would have a head start on free agents and draft.

  5. atlfan31833 says: Feb 11, 2014 11:13 AM

    I like the comment about switching to a 3-4. Wondered if they shouldn’t had done that last year before all of the injuries.

    I’m not sure about Clowney though. If he is there then I say yes but I don’t think the Falcons should trade up to get him.

  6. revren10 says: Feb 11, 2014 11:15 AM

    Come to patriots

  7. nirvana504 says: Feb 11, 2014 3:32 PM

    Totally forgot this dude was still in the league

  8. panzercommander1126 says: Feb 12, 2014 4:13 PM

    I see the Falcons going into a Youth Movement and drafting alot of young talent over the next couple of years…and yes I do see them going to a 3-4, but going an expensive Free Agent Market isnt going to work well when you have got spo much cash tied up in a mid level QB like Matt Ryan…Drafting well will be the key and that uis why they hired an expirenced Asst GM.

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