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Falcons interested in Dwight Freeney, Osi Umenyiora, according to report

Atlanta would like to add a veteran pass rusher to its defensive line.

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The Atlanta Falcons are interested in signing defensive linemen Dwight Freeney and Osi Umenyiora, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC.

The Falcons are looking for a pass rusher and Freeney, who was released by the Indianapolis Colts, and Umenyiora, who had his contract voided in early February, would fit the bill:

After the Ray Edwards debacle - $27.5 million contract, $11 million guaranteed, virtually no return - the Falcons will be extremely selective in free agency. They have discussed adding defensive linemen Dwight Freeney and Osi Umenyiora. Teams can't start negotiating until March 9. Free agency officially starts on March 12.

Both free agents should be sought-after once March hits, but since both are on the wrong side of 30 (Freeney is 33, Umenyiora is 31) teams should know that both might not have much left in the tank. That would be perfect for the Falcons, though, who don't want to get burned committing to a long-term contract -- like what happened with Edwards.

Freeney had one of his worst seasons in recent memory in 2012, but he also battled through injuries and was moved to outside linebacker. If he is back to defensive end, he might return to his pre-2012 numbers. Freeney is the Colts' all-time leader in sacks.

A technicality in Umenyiora's contract gave him free agent status on February 7. Umenyiora became a star as a Giant, recording 52 sacks from 2005 through 2010. But injuries in 2011 sidelined him, causing him to play in just nine games. In 2012, he played in all 16 games but started just four. He recorded six sacks, his lowest total since 2006 when he played in 11 games.

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