Interestingly enough, though, at the same exact time, the Lions have been linked with free agent defensive end Osi Umenyiora, formally of the New York Giants. The 31 year old had hoped to cash in on the open market, but thanks to age and circumstance, he appears headed to earn less money as a second tier free agent.
For Detroit, that shouldn't make Umenyiora any less valuable. He's a perennial all-pro defender with 75 career sacks, and he has two Super Bowl victories to his credit, as well as two Pro Bowl appearances. Additionally, he's just the type of personality the Lions should want around their perpetually mentally fragile locker room.
Qquestions about the maturity levels of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley have been raised, so is there anyone better to help take the Lions to the next level than Umenyiora himself? He's a proven winner, and he's already shown a determination towards making 2013 a fantastic enough season to where he will be asserting himself as a candidate for defensive player of the year honors. That's the kind of attitude a young Lions' defense needs to learn: confidence that arises from setting personal goals in a public forum.
Perhaps the only way they can truly learn those traits are through the determined actions of a respected veteran. In addition to all he'd bring on the field as a diverse pass rushing threat, Umenyiora brings the edge of a winning attitude. Every championship team has a few battle tested veteran leaders willing to talk the talk because they've walked the walk. Who on the Lions' defense could say anything and be taken seriously?
Only Umenyiora could, and that's why he'd be a perfect fit in Detroit. For these reasons, he might even be considered the missing element toward the Lions being on the short list for Super Bowl contention next season.
Adding Umenyiora wouldn't be the Earth shattering move Mayhaw can make (insert signing Elvis Dumervil here), but he would be an experienced and very talented defensive add that will add charismatic and leadership components to the Detroit defense.
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