Former New York Giant defensive end Osi Umenyiora wants a reunion.
“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 told ESPN. “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.”
Umenyiora won two Super Bowls as a member of the Giants, being a staple of their feared pass rush. He compiled 75 sacks in his 9 years as a Giant, before him and front office could not work out a deal, leading to him joining the Atlanta Falcons. He had 7.5 sacks in his first season in Atlanta, before recording 2.5 last season.
So, should Jerry Reese consider this reunion?
At first glance, it seems like it could work. He could return cheap, and compliment Jason Pierre-Paul and Robert Ayers on the pass rush. The Giants could use another pass rusher.
But looking further into it, Umenyiora is coming off a year in which he was a non-factor. He had just 12 tackles to go along with his 2.5 sacks, and he can only be used as a pass rushing specialist. He is horrid against the run.
The Falcons also had only 22 sacks last season, good for the third worst pass rush in the NFL last year. Umenyiora could not help much at all, and was a leader on an atrocious pass rush.
Also, he is 33, and will turn 34 during the next season. He is not young and athletic anymore, and may be out of gas. His career is winding down, and this could be the end.
Assuming the Giants franchise tag Pierre-Paul, they will not have much cap space to spare. Also having guys like Antrel Rolle and Walter Thurmond III to worry about, they may be better suited using their limited cap space on assets other than Umenyiora.
While Umenyiora was exceptional in his time as a Giant, that time is over. It would be best suited for the Giants to move in a different direction.