Falcons’ negotiations with Abraham hit ‘do or die’ stage

 

Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards dunks fellow defensive end John Abraham during a postgame interview following a his best performance of the year in a 41-14 victory over the Jaguars at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards dunks fellow defensive end John Abraham during a postgame interview following a his best performance of the year in a 41-14 victory over the Jaguars at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

INDIANAPOLIS — John Abraham’s six-year reign of terror on quarterbacks in the NFC South could be coming to an end.

The Falcons are set to meet with Abraham’s agent Rich Rosa here on Saturday or Sunday for a “do or die” negotiation, Rosa told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday morning before the NFLPA agents meeting.

While the sides have not discussed years and numbers yet, the initial discussions have not gone well. If a contract extension can’t be worked out, Abraham would become a free agent on March 13, when the league’s new business year starts.

The Falcons want to protect themselves if Abraham’s play slips. Abraham, who made an $8 million base salary last season, turns 34 in May but believes he’s playing at a high level and wants to compensated accordingly.

Abraham’s numbers have not dipped. In his first three years with the Falcons he had 30.5 sacks. Over his last three seasons he had 28 sacks. Abraham also had 19 force fumbles over the length of his contract.

He would like to play for another three seasons. The Falcons want to sign him, but have some financial constraints with 17 possible free agents with other important players, like quarterback Matt Ryan, due for contract extension possibly as early as next season.

Rosa contends that the Falcons have to embrace the fact that players are playing longer these days.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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107 comments Add your comment

just sayin'

February 24th, 2012
11:22 am

PMC

February 24th, 2012
11:27 am

Unless Matt Ryan has the best year of his career next season we shouldn’t be worried so much about his contract because it shouldn’t be much higher if any than what he got when he signed.

tyler

February 24th, 2012
11:35 am

I don’t know about wrapping that much money up into a 34 yr old….we have some young talent that could fill in for him. I’m worried about what we are gonna about Grimes- is he worth Top 5 money? I don’t think so but who’s out there that we can get cheaper? Maybe with Nolan running the show we can coach some other guys up

The Real Falcon

February 24th, 2012
11:36 am

Sign for a heavily incentived contract. Use as a situational rusher.
The guy was rusing a blog to us. Any commnets on the actual blog here?

mountain_jim

February 24th, 2012
11:37 am

Bye Abe – Falcons are not going to give you the golden parachute contract you want. Take it to Free Agency, then come back for a cheap 1 year like Snelling did last year when nobody pays you what you think you are worth,

Fanatic Falcon Fan (F3)

February 24th, 2012
11:40 am

Sounds like “business as usual” posturing by an agent to me.

It has been long speculated by uninformed souls such as I that the Falcons would only take Abe back on a reduced contract that acknowledges his “role player” status at this point in his injury riddled career.

If true, the TD would likely lowball at this stage, Abe’s agent would get huffy in press statements, and they would check the free market to see if there is a team that would give a long term contract at big bucks for a pass rush specialist (waiting for super Mario to sign and using that as a benchmark, maybe go for 80% of that and see if anyone bites),

Sec128 Season Ticket Holder

February 24th, 2012
11:43 am

I think we are a better D with Abe…

Andy

February 24th, 2012
11:44 am

We need to keep Abraham! I didn’t realize all year that he and Spoon had switched jerseys, but if that was Abe wearing 56 all year, we can’t let him walk. Pay the man!

Big Crimson 75

February 24th, 2012
11:46 am

I don’t care how old he is.
Imagine the pass rush w/o Abe !!

Dr. Gooseneck Bender

February 24th, 2012
11:47 am

As far as Double Nickel, if we can somehow, someway pull off a Mario Williams then let the geezer go. Otherwise, Abe’s got some young legs…we need to do what we need to keep him.

Gritz

February 24th, 2012
11:48 am

Abraham is worth that much money and even more. Any NFL player who can shape shift at the snap and become a completely different player (as in accompanying article photo) is worth wrecking our cap over.

KD

February 24th, 2012
11:51 am

A 3 year deal for Abe is a mistake. I love the guy, but that is fiscal suicide.

tardawg

February 24th, 2012
12:02 pm

His agent told NFL insider that Abe wouldn’t be a Falcon next year.

True Falcon Fan

February 24th, 2012
12:06 pm

Big Abe, may decide to just stay put – probably gets 2 year deal, folks believe or not he likes ATL’s chances in the future be assured!

Roger

February 24th, 2012
12:09 pm

The falcons will let Abe become a free agent…he wants more $$$ than Falcons wish to pay..if he don’t get it as FA..then he’ll be bad to Falcons.
Insider did say he’s gone!

mark

February 24th, 2012
12:11 pm

ill even take mathis from the colts over abe, sorry man but ur old n slow! he got like 8 or 9 sacks these year, 3 came on the garbage game against jax, plus he is always on snap count?, snap count? really!, we need a best out there putting pressure on brees n cam, not old guys on a snap count!, plus mario and nicks are free agents i take even the guard over abe, if he comes cheap, which i dont thin he will, sign it, but overpaying no f way

GTT

February 24th, 2012
12:11 pm

It would be great to have him back, but not at all costs.

Virginia Jim

February 24th, 2012
12:12 pm

Thanks for all you`ve done Abe-but for 3 years more and a pay raise? No thanks.

Hankie Aron

February 24th, 2012
12:17 pm

F3-Injury Riddled Career??? You did read the article right? Sure Terminator has had some injuries, yes but 48.5 sacks over the 6 years he’s been here averages to 8 sacks per year! If we knew we were going to get 8-10 sacks from 1 guy other than Abe we wouldn’t even be negotiating with his agent. The fact is there is not a proven pass rusher on the roster other than Abe. Unless we are going all in on Super Mario, we have to try to resign Abe.

[...] Atlanta Falcons This entry was posted in Atlanta Falcons and tagged Abraham, die’, Falcons, negotiations, stage, ‘do. Bookmark the permalink. ← Chiefs plan to have competition for quarterback Cassel [...]

Kramer

February 24th, 2012
12:37 pm

Thanks for your time Abraham. Good luck with your next team. Time for you and the Falcons to move on.

[...] D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that the Falcons are set to meet with Rich Rosa, the agent for prospective free agent defensive end John Abraham on either Saturday or Sunday at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis to get involved in what are “do or die” negotiations. The free agent signing period begins on March 13. Previous reports indicate that Rosa expects that based on how negotiations have gone so far, Abraham will likely get his opportunity to test the market. Per Ledbetter, negotiatons have not gotten to a point where years and numbers as far as salary is concerned have been discussed. Abraham on 790 the Zone yesterday implied that he is seeking to be paid on par with the top defensive ends in the league, who make around $12 million per year. [...]

ronhen24

February 24th, 2012
12:51 pm

Younger players are playing faster these days and you have to have balance as well. We have no balance in the ATL. Curtis Lofton is also probably going to part ways with the Falcons as well. Let’s think about this, with a faster middle linebacker and a young talented DE, you can create more turnovers. This give them the opportunity to get atleast 1 good free agent on defense (Ex: Robert Mathis, E.J. Henderson). Also, get a left tackle or right guard in FA. Every other position like TE, RB, OL, S, LB or DE, find in the draft. Those guys are not very big holes to fill. Lofton, Abraham and Grimes are all replaceable. Lofton is a very consistent tackling slow 2 down LB(a little chubby too); Abraham is still solid, but have a meeting with father time and Grimes is undersized, but scrappy. Cortland Finnegan is tougher on the same frame (maybe an inch taller). You get faster on defense with other players. Mike Nolan being a master mind D-coordinator would probably argue the point if they were not replaceable. I think we will be alright with a play fast, under control, stable defense.

Elvis the falcon fan

February 24th, 2012
1:26 pm

Abe is great when the game is already won but he is not a game changer anymore.

Eisendawg

February 24th, 2012
1:30 pm

Just need to structure a contract rich in incentives, that way if he performs as he thinks he will, he’ll get paid for it. That will protect the Falcons, if he doesn’t.

rollo lawson

February 24th, 2012
1:31 pm

This organization and fan base had know issue with forking over $7 million to a 37 year old tight end, that is slow as syrup. On top of that, we already have two stud receivers already that need to see the ball more. But all of a sudden, when it comes to Abe (our pass rush), he’s too old. If we don’t sign Abe, he will go to Carolina or New Orleans, and kill us twice a year. Watch what I tell you. Give the man what he is worth and he will stay. You better not Kroy Biermann back.

DC Dirty Bird

February 24th, 2012
1:32 pm

How can negotiations hit a “do or die” state if “years and numbers” haven’t come up? Aren’t those the two primary issues when it comes to re-signing Abraham? Abe has to make a decision. Is he going to go for a paycheck or is he going to stay home? My bet is that he won’t get a big contract until after a franchise tag is put on Cliff Avril AND Mario Williams. If I were TD, I’d let Lofton and Grimes walk if it meant locking up Super Mario.

Eisendawg

February 24th, 2012
1:39 pm

Some of this “Do or Die” talk is attorney jockeying. Probably more effective than “Abe wants to finish his career in Atlanta, and is willing to take a cut to do so”.

DC Dirty Bird

February 24th, 2012
1:39 pm

rollo, not that I agree with it, but the Gonzalez contract is a sign of respect and a motivational measure to ensure he comes back. Its not like we have anything on the roster close to a starting TE other than him. Also, $2M of the $6.9M contract is bonuses. He will count $5.9 million against the cap. With him, the yet to be drafted rookie, and Palmer, we’re talking about $7.5M against the cap at TE. That’s not bad.

rollo lawson

February 24th, 2012
1:46 pm

If Abe is too old, what does that make fan favorite Todd McClure?

rollo lawson

February 24th, 2012
1:49 pm

DC Dirty Bird, what do we have as far as a pass rush behind John Abraham? I think we would do fine with Roddy, Julio, Palmer, and rookie TE as pass catching threats. Don’t you agree?

R.U. Serious

February 24th, 2012
2:03 pm

I happen to know that this is not Crap. “old” #55. Did you not listen to his interview on the 2livestews? The guy wants to play and yes wants more money, andyes still produces. Its amazing how nonplayers and team/league personnel make comments about age. Saying the guy is falling off, That he plays limited snaps, often injured, blah, blah, blah. He is not your issue and he never asked to be the highest paid DE or any such nonsense. He says his numbers are up with the top of the pack and he wants to be rewarded as such with a salary that reflects his play. This is the same thng everyone with a job goes through if they feel they outperform the salary they get paid. It doesn’tmatter if you work in a grocery store or fly a jet. You feel that if you do your job well you should be rewarded as such. None of you would take a paycut at your job b/c you’re “old” or b/c some kid out of college or from another company can do the same job for a little less(w/o even being proven nearly as succesful as you are in your position).

You also have to realize that maybe 1 of the reasons he gets hurt is b/c he’s playing hard while on the field w/o any other D Line help. So, he gets doubled, chipped, clipped, held all sorts of things that are never called by the refs.

He doesn’t complain, he just plays. If he decided to sit out after his 16 1/2 sack season, you folks would have still said he’s greedy or trade him. Its a no win situation for him and the falcons if he leaves. He wants to be here, but can surely get more than $8mil somewhere else. The Falcons can let him go and deal with the same issue if they sign another BIG Name DE like Mario…you still potentially only have 1 pass rusher.

And like so many other atlanta Players that have been “dissed” by their team. He may very well get a big payday and a ring from another team while another Atlanta team cries we made another mistake

JSS

February 24th, 2012
2:14 pm

Well guys, it is actually “do or die” because the CBA makes the tender date in March on the 12th… You (team) really should have an idea by now…

[...] told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday[5] that he plans to meet with the Falcons this weekend in Indianapolis. The initial discussions [...]

Quarterback

February 24th, 2012
2:45 pm

Every team has a window of 3-4 years to make a Super Bowl run before the need to reload certain players and the start of a new window. Sometimes that window can get you into more than one Super Bowl and other times you top out like the Falcons just beneath this level.

The Falcons core group peaked in 2010 and faded in 2011. Unless we make some tough, but badly needed choices on some of these core players we will flatten out or regress further in 2012.

Here are my tough choices:

Void the contracts, trade, or sign and trade Abraham, Robinson, Edwards, Turner and White. Turner and Abraham are fading athletically, Robinson and Edwards are grossly over paid, and White is just too stupid to be on a good, fundamental team…he’s also 30+ now.

I would then take every available penny and use it on every available resource to build both a dynamic OL and DL. That was the difference in the Giants this season and in 2007, particularly their dominating DL’s in both years against Brady.

We prettied up the house first with flash and style players. It’s time to correct this gross error in judgement by Falcons management and build a strong foundation (the lines) first, even if this sets us back a year or so. We well never advance in the playoffs–or even make the playoffs–otherwise.

Mave2124

February 24th, 2012
2:47 pm

Double Nickel may be gone if he wants big money, plain and simple. He should look at the type of contract Jason Taylor signed at the end of his career as a base. If not, I am sure he will take less money to play for the Panthers and DC Nolan will really need to get 10 guys get 4 sacks each instead of 4 getting 10…just sayin’

rollo lawson

February 24th, 2012
2:47 pm

Thank you, R.U. Serious

jerry

February 24th, 2012
2:50 pm

So what if there is no pass rush without Abe? There wasn’t much of one with him and it was practically non-existent vs the good teams.

N

February 24th, 2012
3:01 pm

How? How? How? What else is there to discuss aside from years and dollars? Did they tell him that he couldn’t have his favorite parking space? This agent’s posturing is just getting more and more lame.

“While the sides have not discussed years and numbers yet, the initial discussions have not gone well.”

Old Timer

February 24th, 2012
3:06 pm

We need to keep a player who’s so fast he can jump into somebody else’s jersey during a play. Pay him whatever he wants.

Larry

February 24th, 2012
3:08 pm

Abe has become a part time sack specialist, so agree on a fee per sack basis and let’s see how many he can rack up!

DC Dirty Bird

February 24th, 2012
3:15 pm

R.U. Serious. More than 8 mil would put him in the top 5 of DE’s of which he is not. Period. You never over pay for a guy just to keep him. Ask the Hawks about that when it comes to Joe Johnson.

rollo, I concur, we could probably get by with that, but that would have to be one talented rookie TE.

TRIGG

February 24th, 2012
3:41 pm

We dont need Abe to win! His replacement is already on the team & ready to play!

WS

February 24th, 2012
3:42 pm

He not ok with 8M a year and on a snap count. Add some money go after Williams, Mathis or Feeney. Colts are rebuilding. I sure with a count of draft picks and a young lineman we could get a pass rusher.We did not need JJ as bad as we need defense.

Ace

February 24th, 2012
4:01 pm

If Abraham doesn’t sign with the Falcons, I believe he will try to sign with a team in the same division so he can face the Falcons twice to try to show them that they made a mistake so be careful.

GT GRAD

February 24th, 2012
4:21 pm

If he will not sign a 2 year agreement for $5M each season (by the way he will not agree……..he probably thinks he is worth $10M per year); I say let him go.

All he cares about is extending his career as long as possible and accumulating sacks. There is a LOT more to the DE position than just sacks. Sacks are CRITICAL……..but for the amount of money he expects, we should get an every down player who DOMINATES against the run & the pass! Abraham never played at an elite status (except for one game against Carolina a few years ago) and he is simply not the player he once was due to age.

It is time to part ways unless he is willing to play for a reasonable salary ($5M per year is more than fair).

pawatl

February 24th, 2012
4:28 pm

If i was the GM, i would cut or trade Turner, White,Jerry, Baker, and Ovie. I would let Abe Weems, and Grimes walk.With 26 million to start with, and an additional 15 to 17 millon from those cut this gives you upwards of 41 to 43 million in cap space.So if it would cost 8 a year to sign DE willams,7 mill a year to sign OG Nicks,5 mill to sign Maimi NT, it STILL leaves you25 million to resign Snelling, Douglas,and Bierman would cost 3 to 4 mill a yaer each. That STILL leaves 13 to15 mill to resign Lofton,and/or DeCloud, Sanders,or Hayden.You could resign atleast 2 or 3 of them and have room to pay for your draft picks which I would use to shore up RB,OL,DL or DB. I would think about a cheap back up at LT like maybe King Dunlap from Philly as well. This would also allow you to make aswitch to a 3-4 much faster.

KCG

February 24th, 2012
4:28 pm

The Falcons are nuts if they don’t keep Abe. He is the only one on the defensive front that opposing teams have to account for. He can not be blocked one on one and has to be either double teamed or chipped. Unfortunately despite all of the attention he gets no one else on the d-line steps up. In the playoff game the Giants initially were trying to block him one on one and he was going off. Once they gave him more attention he was neutralized but nobody else stepped up. Is’nt Ray Edwards getting paid 5 to 6 mil a year. You have to pay Abe better than you pay Ray. If you think the defensive line is bad now, it will be a lot worst without 55. Oh yeah, we have to keep Brent Grimes to.

same old falcons

February 24th, 2012
4:32 pm

ABE has been the rock on D for the falcons with no help on the opposite side, and after all these years the GM can’t seem to find a DE that can help. ABE be smart and go to an organization that knows how to win, ask JESSIE TUGGLE, DEION SANDERS and others. The falcons think they can will with MATTY MELTDOWN get real.

pawatl

February 24th, 2012
4:35 pm

So the question becomes do you pay him 6 to 8 million a year? Not if you can get Willams for around 8 to 9 ayear