Free agent defensive end Osi Umenyiora will sign with the Atlanta Falcons no later than Monday evening. It will end a decade of the Chief in blue, and begin the next, and possibly final chapter of his successful NFL career. And to be able to play so close to his home is a dream for Umenyiora, who said on Friday that winning with the Falcons would be better than winning with the New York Giants.
“New York fans definitely expect a lot out of you because of their history,” Umenyiora said. “There was nothing better than to be able to win there. The only thing I can think of that would be better than being able to win in New York would be to be able to win here in Atlanta. We’ll see how that plays out. Hopefully, it works out in a positive direction.”
Winning in New York is all Umenyiora knows, having experienced only two losing seasons since being drafted in 2003 and none since 2004. However, it goes without say that Umenyiora is obviously making an attempt to appeal to what will be his new team, teammates and fans. After all, everyone on the planet knows winning in New York is as good as it gets – and he's done it twice.
Still, Umenyiora expects his new team (pending an official deal) to compete immediately.
“From afar, I’ve never seen a team that has this much talent, especially offensively with the weapons that they have out wide and a great quarterback . . .and they added Steven Jackson, one of the best running backs in football,” Umenyiora said. “The sky is the limit. Defensively, they are very good. . . .they have all of the makings of a very good football team. They just need a couple of key pieces here and there and they’ll be OK.”
Now, if Umenyiora can go into Atlanta and break Michael Strahan's single-season sack record and win Defensive Player of the Year like he promised he would, then the Falcons will, legitimately, be in a strong position to win.
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