The Predator Returns!
Maybe it was the quiet before the storm to a small degree but nonetheless the Falcons made a significantly good decision in re-signing John Abraham. Atlanta was faced with major issues on defense as free agency continued to roll past them. Abraham returning stabilizes the defensive front which was beginning to shape up as the weakness of the defense due to the lack of a true pass rusher.
There is no doubt that Abraham is at the back end of his career, but he is still a very good defensive end with the ability to get to the quarterback. The 2012 season will be Abraham’s twelfth and the Falcons will need to add some depth to the position in order to keep Abraham’s snaps balanced in order for him to make high-level plays consistently over 16 games.
Last year’s free agent signing of Ray Edwards did not produce any results by way of an overall improved pass rush; Abraham still had to carry the load. Abraham finished last season with nine and half sacks, by far the most on the team, and had moments where he really shined. There were also times where he just didn’t make a big impact in games; weeks two through five with no sacks. Now, it is important to note that he dealt with a groin injury for three-fourths of the season so his staying healthy is paramount to this move being worthwhile.
The bottom line is that the Falcons were never legitimate suitors for young, elite, in-their-prime players such as former Texans’ defensive end/current Bills signee Mario Williams. Resigning Abraham was a priority for Atlanta. While Abraham is no longer a premier pass rusher he is a good one and he was Atlanta’s best option.
John Abraham's three-year deal is worth $21 million.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) March 16, 2012
We still haven't made a splash by signing other teams free agents but this one feels good. Abe was a horse for us last year and it would have been hard to swallow losing him without a viable replacement. Getting him at what looks like $7 million per year (I'm sure the contract is not that straight forward) versus the $10 or so that it was rumored he was looking for feels good.