Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Could the Miami Dolphins be preparing to bring in a veteran free agent to team up with Cameron Wake as a pass rushing nightmare for opponents?
According to profootballtalk.com, free agent defensive end Osi Umenyiora is likely to sign with either the Miami Dolphins or Atlanta Falcons. CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero reported earlier this week the Fins had been exploring signing Umenyiora.
Umenyiora is an 11-year veteran and played in every game last season. For his career he has 75 total sacks and helped lead the Giants to two Super Bowl championships as part of a fearsome pass rush that completely frustrated New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady twice.
Three seasons ago, Umenyiora had 11.5 sacks and 48 combined tackles along with 10 forced fumbles. Last year, Umenyiora’s production fell off with just 43 combined tackles and 6 sacks.
Still, if the 31-year-old has gas left in the tank, he would make for a dangerous duo alongside Dolphins pass rushing monster Cam Wake. The Fins have been searching for a bookend to Wake to pull double-teams off the Pro Bowler.
Last season the Dolphins tried Jared Odrick at defensive end, but he failed to generate much of a pass rush. The Fins also drafted Olivier Vernon out of the University of Miami to help the pass rush.
The Fins took a look at former Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham, but decided against signing him, according to NFL.com. The other big name free agent defensive end available is former Indianapolis Colts star Dwight Freeney.
The former Colts star is 33-years-old and attempted to play outside linebacker last year in a 3-4 defense, but was playing out of position. Freeney has 23.5 sacks since 2010, but is on the downside of a phenomenal career.
If the Fins do sign a defensive end like Umenyiora, it could put Odrick on the block. Odrick could also slide inside and play defensive tackle in defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle’s 4-3 defense.
The Dolphins also own five of the first 82 picks in the 2013 NFL Draft giving the Fins lots of options with the 12th pick in the first round.