Earlier on Saturday it was reported that the Atlanta Falcons were interested in going after free agency defensive end Dwight Freeney, but it’s not the only name they’ll be going after in free agency. While Freeney fills one need the Falcons have on the defensive line, former New York Giants star Osi Umenyiora is a name the Falcons are keeping a very close eye on.
The Falcons are pursuing a cheaper alternative to John Abraham. Both Umenyiora and Freeney would be on-field downgrades, and Atlanta will face competition from Tennessee and Denver. GM Thomas Dimitroff is one of the best in the business, but he’s put himself in a difficult spot in terms of pass rush. His draft picks haven’t worked out and he may have to overpay for a declining veteran.
Both Freeney and Umenyiora have strengths and weaknesses that both players do and don’t have. Freeney is a full-time work horse and has been for his whole career, but it’s a career that’s been going on for sometime now. Freeney’s currently 30 years old and it’s only a matter of time before that begins to show on the field.
On the other hand, Umenyiora is a devastating force when he wants to be, and that’s both a strength and a weakness. Umenyiora has showed in the past that he can be an explosive player but injuries have slowed him down and caused him to be inconsistent in recent years.
It’s not clear who will land in Atlanta, but the Falcons are making it abundantly clear who they are going after early in free agency.