Late last night, the Atlanta Falcons signed Osi Umenyiora to a two-year deal, thus replacing defensive end John Abraham and further bolstering a great set of off-season pick ups and re-signings. The deal was completely at a measly $8.5 million, with a max of $12 million and $5 million guaranteed.
The bar continues to be lowered for the defensive end market, similar to what happened to free-agent cornerbacks. The Falcons are obviously pushing to be competitive with NFC teams like the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.
The best defensive end on the market (arguably), Cliff Avril is making $6.5 million a year in Seattle, so naturally a 33 year old who just came off of a relatively poor season playing outside linebacker will not come close to that money.
Abraham is apparently having the same problem with the teams he has visited, which is New England, Denver, and Seattle. Both Freeney and Abraham will need to lower their asking prices if they want to be in a uniform next season, because the defensive end market is just not producing large amount of money.
For the Patriots, this could mean that they are just being patient like they were with Aqib Talib and Sebastian Vollmer, and waiting for Freeney and Abraham to realize the market is not where they expected nor where they wanted it to be. If Osi Umenyiora is making $8.5 million over two years, these two should be expecting $4 million annually at most.