NFL Free Agency: Osi Umenyiora Would Be a Perfect Fit in Baltimore

Jeffrey SchmidtCorrespondent IIIAugust 3, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 14:  Marion Barber #24 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball past Osi Umenyiora #72 of the New York Giants on November 14, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Cowboys defeated the Giants 33-20.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens already bolster a defense that ranked in the top 10 in total defense during the 2010 NFL season. Led by Ed Reed, Ray Lewis and Haloti Ngata, the Ravens have one of the hardest-hitting defenses in the league. It is hard to imagine them struggling on that side of the ball anytime soon.

However, no team is perfect and even with how strong the Ravens defense already is, the team has been longing for an elite compliment to Terrell Suggs on the opposite side of the defensive line. 

It just so happens that there is an elite pass rusher available on the market. 

Osi Umenyiora has expressed concern with his two year $8 million contract with the New York Giants, which has lead the Giants to listen to trade offers for their Pro-Bowl pass rusher. 

The Giants want to acquire a first-round draft choice in return for Umenyiora, which seems to be to high of a price for the rest of the league. Trading Umenyiora was never part of the Giants plan and it still won't be unless a team either trades a first-round pick or in my opinion, gives up two-second round picks (similar to a Brandon Marshall type trade). 

According to, four other teams besides the Ravens have expressed interest in Umenyiora so the Ravens will have to act fast.  

Umenyiora was the focal point of the defense, and started all sixteen games for the Giants last season. He led the team with 11.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in 2010, which allowed him to play in his second career Pro-Bowl. The defensive end has had double digit sacks in three of the past six seasons and when healthy has shown that he can be a dominant force against the NFL's elite pass blockers. 

The thought of Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and Osi Umenyiora all lining up together is an absolute nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. These guys can line up in all four line positions, which makes Umenyiora a perfect fit in Baltimore's hybrid 3-4 system. 

Baltimore's offense also looks to be explosive this season. The team is lead by the big three of Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin. With Boldin and Flacco entering their second full season together. 

The Ravens are finally achieving a balance, which is something they have never really had in their young existence. Adding Umenyiora would be a major upgrade to the Ravens weak pass defense, which would allow players like rookie Jimmy Smith to play more freely. 

With Baltimore's defensive veterans aging and with how strong the AFC is, it only makes sense for the Ravens to have a win now attitude because their championship window is closing.