Looking at the numbers, signing defensive end Osi Umenyiora isn’t ineludibly the best move.
Numbers don’t lie, but numbers alone can’t be counted on to completely tell any story. The release of John Abraham wasn’t based solely on the hope of gaining the likes of Umenyiora. To those who say Umenyiora will be so much better for the Atlanta Falcons because he’s so much younger and the Falcons need to join the youth movement…nice try. In age, only three years separate Abraham and Umenyiora.
But bygones must be bygones, and it’s time to look ahead.
Umenyiora has been known to have a contrary nature, clashing quite a bit with the powers-that-be of his former team, the New York Giants. The points of contention mostly involved contract renegotiation and the difference between how much Umenyiora thought he was worth and how much the Giants thought he was worth.
Could that same strife rear its ugly head down the Falcons line?
Are there ulterior motives underlying Umenyiora’s desire to become a Falcon? Perhaps, but the motives probably aren’t strong enough to be considered ulterior. He likes to be in the spotlight; being a Falcon right now would indeed fill that bill. He also wants to be a starter. Whether that will happen with the Falcons remains to be seen; it will be interesting to see how that plays out and to what end.
Umenyiora is also banking on home field advantage, but not in the traditional sense. He maintains a residence in Cleveland, Georgia; he definitely plays that up when talking about his meeting with the Falcons last week. Living within driving distance of a team’s base of operations certainly plays well with the fans. “He’s from here. He’ll want it as much as the other guys do, maybe more.”
They may be right.
And honestly, who wouldn’t want to be part of what may be the first Falcons’ Super Bowl win?
Come on down, Osi Umenyiora. Come on down and get to work.