Umenyiora to Jets a gut punch to Giants fans?

The former Big Blue defensive end Osi Umenyiora is rumored to be interested in the other MetLife Stadium resident, but how will Giants fans react if the former star joins Gang Green?

It’s being reported that the New York Jets are thinking about bringing in former New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora to bolster their pass rush. The Jets’ defense line, led by Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson sacked opposing quarterbacks 45 times last year, but in the NFL there’s no such thing as too many pass rushers. Could Umenyiora have a big impact on the Jets in 2015?

Recent history suggests that the veteran would be more of a role player if he signs with the Jets. The 33-year-old Umenyiora managed just two-and-a-half sacks in 16 games with the Falcons in 2014. Much more of a speed rush specialist nowadays than a three-down defensive end, the former second-round draft pick is going to have to rely on his athleticism and ability to force fumbles in order to make a difference this season.

Forcing fumbles has been a staple of Umenyiora’s game throughout his career. In fact, the veteran forced at least one fumble in every season from his Giants debut in 2003 through his first Atlanta campaign in 2013. Last season put an end to that streak, but Umenyiora is still quite capable of forcing turnovers when put in the right situation.

Giants fans will remember fondly the ten fumbles Umenyiora forced in 2010 and the brilliant playoff run he had in 2011 among his finest accomplishments with New York. Whether or not the veteran decides to join the Jets shouldn’t have an effect on how he’s viewed by Big Blue nation. There might be a nostalgic moment or two in play if Umenyiora returns to MetLife Stadium wearing a green jersey this autumn, but anyone who thinks that the defensive end signing with the Jets would be “gut punch” to Giants supporters doesn’t have his or her finger on the pulse of the fan base.

First of all, the Giants walked away from Umenyiora at the right time. After a six-sack 2012 campaign, it was the right decision by the front office to not re-sign a player who was entering his decline phase. Sure, Umenyiora could have bounced back and proved the Giants, wrong, but he has only recorded 10 sacks total in two seasons with Atlanta. The money was best spent elsewhere.

Second, fans mostly root for laundry nowadays. The uniform the player is wearing is more important than the player himself. If a player plays for a fan’s team, that guy can do no wrong. If he’s wearing a different color, he’s about to get booed mercilessly. How else do you explain fans continuing to wear player jerseys even after those players are involved in ugly off-the-field incidents?

The reason is that fans just want to win. If a guy isn’t helping their team win anymore, he should be replaced by someone who can. As soon as Peyton Manning showed he was mortal in Indianapolis, he was shoved out the door to make room for Andrew Luck. When Umenyiora slowed down with the Giants, they found a way to move on without him.

The constant strive for victory is a reason why Giants fans won’t have hurt feelings if Umenyiora signs with the Jets. If he’s not helping Big Blue win, then it doesn’t matter what jersey he wears.


The Giants Beat Top Stories

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It’s being reported that the New York Jets are thinking about bringing in former New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora to bolster their pass rush. The Jets’ defense line, led by Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson sacked opposing quarterbacks 45 times last year, but in the NFL there’s no such thing as too many pass rushers. Could Umenyiora have a big impact on the Jets in 2015?

Recent history suggests that the veteran would be more of a role player if he signs with the Jets. The 33-year-old Umenyiora managed just two-and-a-half sacks in 16 games with the Falcons in 2014. Much more of a speed rush specialist nowadays than a three-down defensive end, the former second-round draft pick is going to have to rely on his athleticism and ability to force fumbles in order to make a difference this season.

Forcing fumbles has been a staple of Umenyiora’s game throughout his career. In fact, the veteran forced at least one fumble in every season from his Giants debut in 2003 through his first Atlanta campaign in 2013. Last season put an end to that streak, but Umenyiora is still quite capable of forcing turnovers when put in the right situation.

Giants fans will remember fondly the ten fumbles Umenyiora forced in 2010 and the brilliant playoff run he had in 2011 among his finest accomplishments with New York. Whether or not the veteran decides to join the Jets shouldn’t have an effect on how he’s viewed by Big Blue nation. There might be a nostalgic moment or two in play if Umenyiora returns to MetLife Stadium wearing a green jersey this autumn, but anyone who thinks that the defensive end signing with the Jets would be “gut punch” to Giants supporters doesn’t have his or her finger on the pulse of the fan base.

First of all, the Giants walked away from Umenyiora at the right time. After a six-sack 2012 campaign, it was the right decision by the front office to not re-sign a player who was entering his decline phase. Sure, Umenyiora could have bounced back and proved the Giants, wrong, but he has only recorded 10 sacks total in two seasons with Atlanta. The money was best spent elsewhere.

Second, fans mostly root for laundry nowadays. The uniform the player is wearing is more important than the player himself. If a player plays for a fan’s team, that guy can do no wrong. If he’s wearing a different color, he’s about to get booed mercilessly. How else do you explain fans continuing to wear player jerseys even after those players are involved in ugly off-the-field incidents?

The reason is that fans just want to win. If a guy isn’t helping their team win anymore, he should be replaced by someone who can. As soon as Peyton Manning showed he was mortal in Indianapolis, he was shoved out the door to make room for Andrew Luck. When Umenyiora slowed down with the Giants, they found a way to move on without him.

The constant strive for victory is a reason why Giants fans won’t have hurt feelings if Umenyiora signs with the Jets. If he’s not helping Big Blue win, then it doesn’t matter what jersey he wears. 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