The courtship is over between Osi Umenyiora and the Atlanta Falcons.
After days of on and off rumors between the two sides, Umenyiora agreed to a two-year deal to join the Falcons on Wednesday, according to Steve Wyche of the NFL Network. The deal is reportedly worth $8.5 million with potential earnings of up to $12 million.
Umenyiora, 31, was drafted in the second round of the 2003 NFL draft and played his entire career with the New York Giants before becoming a free agent this offseason.
In 10 seasons with the Giants, Umenyiora recorded 376 tackles, 75 sacks and forced 32 fumbles. He was also selected to two Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams, and he helped the franchise win two Super Bowls during his tenure.
Umenyiora should provide a big boost for the Falcons, too. He’ll add a skilled pass rusher to their front four, replacing the veteran presence of John Abraham, and he’ll offer some much-needed experience to a team that fell just yards short of a Super Bowl appearance this season.
His signing could also spark the free-agent market for defensive ends and pass rushers, which would mean players like Abraham and Dwight Freeney may find a home very soon.
With the Falcons reloading for another run next season, including the return of Tony Gonzalez and signings of Steven Jackson and now Umenyiora, they should be a front runner for the NFC crown yet again.
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