Osi Umenyiora is reportedly on the verge of getting the contract he has desperately been seeking, although it's unlikely this deal approaches the financial terms he's sought for years and once believed he was worth.
It also appears Umenyiora's future, as expected, will be with a team other than the Giants.
Several reports Sunday indicated Umenyiora, an unrestricted free agent, was close to an agreement with the Atlanta Falcons and that he could officially join them as early as today. The 31-year-old Umenyiora lives in Atlanta and the Falcons were talked up as a possible trade partner two summers ago when the defensive end and the Giants were in the midst of their contract squabble.
Quoting an anonymous source, Pro Football Talk was the first to report late Saturday night Umenyiora would soon be signing with the Falcons to replace recently released John Abraham.
In a recent interview with an Atlanta radio station, Umenyiora was quoted as saying "the only thing that would be better than to be able to win in New York would be to win here in Atlanta."
Umenyiora's pending departure would conclude a 10-year career with the Giants that included a pair of Super Bowl titles and countless pressure-filled plays made by him along the way. Over the past three seasons, though, Umenyiora's presence on the field has nearly been overshadowed by disdain he has expressed time and again over his contract situation. He visited the Falcons on Wednesday, but left without consummating a deal.
"New York fans definitely expect a lot out of you because of their history," Umenyiora said in an interview with Atlanta-based 92.9 The Game, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "There was nothing better than to be able to win there. We'll see how that plays out (regarding his chances of signing with the Falcons). Hopefully, it works out in a positive direction."
A two-time Pro Bowler and former All-Pro, Umenyiora collected 75 sacks as a Giant, which puts him fourth in franchise history behind Hall of Famers Michael Strahan and Lawrence Taylor as well as Leonard Marshall. While playing behind starters Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck in 2012, Umenyiora had just six sacks in 16 games, tying the second-lowest output of his career.
The Giants could look for Umenyiora's replacement in the upcoming draft, considering they have been linked in various mock drafts to pass rushers such as BYU's Ziggy Ansah.
They also could move Mathias Kiwanuka back to defensive end on a full-time basis rather than having him alternate between the defensive line and linebacker.