Last offseason, GM Jerry Reese
and Giants' DE Osi Umenyiora
were engaged in a bitter battle regarding his contract. Umenyiora wanted the Giants to tear up his old contract and give him a new one. However, Reese refused to allow Umenyiora to have any leverage and suggested to his agent to seek a trade. Well, after failing on finding a new team to play for, the disgruntled DE returned to camp and played well before requiring knee surgery. As the season unfolded, Umenyiora played very steady throughout the year, while having a few setbacks which caused him to miss 6 games during the regular season. Despite playing in only 10 games, Umenyiora finished with 9 sacks in the regular season, including 3.5 sacks in the playoffs.
It has been reported that Umenyiora would like a finish out his career with the New York Giants and a possibility of a new contract is forthcoming. However; Umenyiora doesn’t want to be a backup behind either Jason Pierre-Paul
or Justin Tuck
. Other reports have told me that Umenyiora will not participate in any team offseason workouts; which tells me that another holdout could be brewing. If so, Reese will not allow the organization and the team to go through another saga between him and Umenyiora and a trade would be the solution. With that being said, which teams would be interested in the Giants' DE and what type of package can the Giants realistically acquire for the 2-time Pro Bowler. Let’s start with the teams that could be good fits for Umenyiora
, my list includes:
Green Bay Packers (11 picks in the Draft):
The Packers certainly need to address the defensive side of the board and they will most certainly do so in Draft. However; with 11 picks can the Giants and Packers make a deal? Would a package of the Packers' 2nd and 5th-rounders satisfy both teams?
This scenario does have merit and it could be a reality if both teams can agree upon a package.
Pittsburgh Steelers (10 picks in the Draft):
The Steelers are aging and although Umenyiora is 30 years old, he would still be considered young enough to warrant a deal. A package of the Steelers 2nd
and 5th-rounder’s would still leave the Steelers with 8 total picks in the Draft.
Umenyiora could provide an instant spark to the Steelers' defense and a trade between these two teams is a possibility.
New York Jets (10 picks in the Draft):
Is it possible that the Giants would even consider trading Umenyiora to a team that shares the city and the headlines with them? Rex Ryan
loves pass rushers and a package of the Jets' 2nd
and 5th-rounder’s could get it done.
Although this scenario seems very unlikely, they do match up well as trading partners.
Denver Broncos (8 picks in the Draft):
The Broncos made a hugh splash when signing free agent Peyton Manning
just over a month ago. Now they need to address the defensive side of the ball; which was a concern in 2011. Aside from Von Miller
(11.5 sacks) and Elvis Dumervil
(9.5 sacks), the Broncos struggled getting to the QB. Robert Ayers
managed only 3 sacks in 2011 and adding Umenyiora to the mix would provide presser from both end positions. A 2nd
and 5th-rounder might make this happen.
The Broncos could afford to make a deal for the talented DE. If the Broncos improve on defense (either through trades and/or the Draft) they would be a legit playoff contender.
Cinncinnati Bengals (10 picks in the Draft):
Cinncinnati has two 1st
round picks and they will not trade them away. However; they do have a 2nd
round pick and a 5th-rounder that they might be willing to part ways with if a deal could be made. In fact, the Giants and Bengals just made a trade involving MLB Keith Rivers going to New York for the Giants' 5th-round selection. Now the Bengals could certainly address the DE position in the 1st
round (#17 and #21). However; if they decide to address the secondary position or the RB position or even the OL with these picks, then the Giants and Bengals could work out a deal.
The Bengals will most likely hold onto all their draft picks and add depth to their roster. However; acquiring Umenyiora would greatly enhance their pass rushing attack.
Cleveland Browns (13 picks in the Draft):
The Cleveland Browns need help at a number of positions on both sides of the ball. With two 1st
round picks (#4 and #22), I could see them addressing the offensive side of the ball (RB Trent Richardson
with the #4 pick and possibly WR Kendall Wright
with the #22 pick). Aside from these two picks, the Browns will still have 11 picks on the board and a pass rushing DE could be on their radar. Now I can’t see the Browns offering their 2nd
round (37 overall) if there was interest between the two teams. However; an early 3rd
round and a 4th-rounder could be enough to make this trade happen.
As I mentioned earlier, the Browns need a lot of help on both sides of the ball and a trade for the Giants DE would certainly help their cause. The Browns could use all their picks in the draft to rebuild or they could trade down for additional picks or they could make a trade for an establish player like Umenyiora.
I believe that Osi Umenyiora has showed enough high-level performance to warrant a 2nd
and 5th-round package. Based on what I have read and heard from various resources, the scenario of the Giants trading Umenyiora is currently at 50/50. I believe GM Reese is considering trading the talented DE as he still has value and can help the teams I’ve mentioned above. Also, the fact that Umenyiora doesn’t want to be a backup could tip the scale considerably to trading him. Either way, with the Draft now only 13 days away, an answer to these questions could be answered before then or on draft day.