March Madness is currently dominating the sports world, but NFL free agency is still alive and well and there remain plenty of solid and talented names on the market hunting for a new home. One of those guys is defensive end Osi Umenyiora who is reportedly drawing some interest from the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins.
Yep. Miami, Detroit, others. But $ for DEs isn’t there across the board. RT @brooklynpod: anyone shown any real interest in Osi?
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 18, 2013
Umenyiora makes sense on both teams, but he also acts as a head scratching move as well. With the Lions, Umenyiora could be plugged in opposite Jason Jones, giving the Lions one of the most powerfully talented defensive fronts in the entire league. Coupled with Ndamukong Suh and Jones, Umenyiora has a chance to truly flourish in the Lions defense, but he’s still an injury risk and after dealing with Nick Fairley for two seasons, the Lions aren’t going to want to spend high on an aging injury risk.
Down in Miami, Umenyiora provides the Dolphins defense with a much needed upgrade up front, but he’s not a move the team needs to make. If they needed a defensive end that badly, they’d be looking at guys like Jarvis Jones and Barkevious Mingo in this April’s NFL Draft, but the team is being linked to guys in the secondary rather than monsters up front. That being said, adding Umenyiora would provide the Dolphins with some peace of mind when selecting a safety or cornerback as they would know their line is shored up.
But the Dolphins just allocated close to $100 million and $40 million in guaranteed money to offensive skill players, meaning they’re in a pinch for cash and likely wouldn’t be able to give Umenyiora the deal he wants. The Lions aren’t strapped for cash per say, but they doled out a pretty penny for Reggie bush and they can just draft a guy like Dion Jordan or Ziggy Ansah at the top of the draft and pay far less than what they’d have to for a used product.
Still, if he can be signed at the right price, Umenyiora would be a great addition to either defense, and the longer he sits on the open market without a job, the higher the chances become that Umenyiora settles for a reasonable contract offer.