Atlanta Falcons: John Abraham returns with 3-year deal

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

The Falcons agreed to terms with defensive end John Abraham on a three-year contract on Friday.

Abraham, who turns 34 in May, has been the team’s top sacker since being acquired in a trade in 2006. He currently has 112 career sacks, 58.5 in six seasons with the Falcons.

He had  9.5 sacks last season.

The negotiations for Abraham to return were bumpy. The Falcons met with Abraham’s agent Rich Rosa in Indianapolis during the NFL scouting combine.

Two days earlier, Abraham, was a guest on the “2 Live Stews” radio show on 790 The Zone, sounded like he wanted to be paid “12 [million dollars]-plus” per season. Later, on his twitter account, he contended that he just wanted to get paid what he was worth.

Abraham wanted to stay with the Falcons all along. He had attracted some interest from Denver and Tennessee.

“I don’t want to go nowhere,” Abraham said. “I love Atlanta.”

Those initial discussions did not go well and Abraham became a free agent on Tuesday, when the NFL’s new business year started.

The Falcons wanted a deal that protected them if Abraham’s play slips. Abraham, who was on a snap count last season after suffering a groin injury against Philadelphia in the second game of the season, believes he’s playing at a high level.

Abraham’s numbers have not dipped. In his first three years with the Falcons he had 30.5 sacks. Over the past three seasons he had 28. Also, he has forced 17 fumbles during his stint with the Falcons.

Abraham said that he wanted to play another three seasons and this contract could allow him to achieve that goal.

Abraham was originally selected by the New York Jets in the first round (13th overall) of the 2000 NFL draft. He was acquired by the Falcons in exchange for a first round draft choice in a 2006 trade.

In 12 seasons, he has totaled 549 tackles (401 solo) with 112.0 sacks, 38 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, 19 passes defensed and one interception. Since sacks became an official statistic in 1982, Abraham’s 112.0 sacks rank 16th in NFL history.

He is also the NFL’s active sack leader.

 Last season, Abraham had 31 tackles (24 solo) with 9.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

 His 58.5 sacks ranks tied with Chuck Smith (1992-98) for second in franchise history.

He set a franchise record for most sacks in a single-season with 16.5 in 2008, topping Joel Williams who posted 16.0 in 1980.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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192 comments Add your comment

Pete...

March 16th, 2012
2:50 pm

That picture is not Abe. It is Spoon.
Glad we got the predator back though.

Joe

March 16th, 2012
2:50 pm

I will decline to react until I see the terms of this agreement

Joe

March 16th, 2012
2:51 pm

Marcus McNiel is coming to Visit the Falcons and the Chiefs….I hope he’s healthy, definite upgrade

jay

March 16th, 2012
2:53 pm

Finally something to be happy about.

Billy

March 16th, 2012
2:54 pm

glad he’s coming back!

tgueboy

March 16th, 2012
2:55 pm

so i guess we are determine to just be average while everyone else upgrade their teams.. so we will come back with the same team that fell short but will hope for better results?

Pastor Mackdaddy

March 16th, 2012
2:55 pm

has anyone seen my old friend Abraham?…..yes thought I saw him walking up over the mountain with Smitty and Dmitty….welcome back Big John, rest up and get some sacks

Diggity

March 16th, 2012
2:56 pm

Now go get Freeney

WTF?

March 16th, 2012
2:56 pm

Yaeh! so what your saying is we we got the same old team minus Lofton, who is visiting the Saints, and expect what kinda results?

rivercard

March 16th, 2012
2:56 pm

Would have been preferred a new pass rusher, but had to be done. You can’t function without a pass rush and they had no one other than him. Hopefully put the loony Sidbury talk to rest.

Feel a little better. Now get to work on that god awful offensive line.

Jimmy Crack

March 16th, 2012
2:58 pm

Good to see Abe back in the fold. Way to go, OLD MAN!

Now go take some Super Beta and get yourself ready to kick some young Left Tackles’ butts!

ATAlien

March 16th, 2012
3:00 pm

I love it! All you hear earlier in the week, ‘we can’t let Lofton and Abraham go…’. We re-sign Abraham and now you hear, ‘why did we re-sign that guy?!?!?!’. LOL

Nique

March 16th, 2012
3:00 pm

D-Led

last FA question from me for a while, the Raiders just cut Kamerion Wimbley could you comment & check in of the Birds interest in him?

& Thx Joe for the Marcus McNiel update! I’m really excited to hear that & am glad be resigned ABE too!

Mudcat

March 16th, 2012
3:00 pm

Use our 1st round pick for a solid DE………Oh, that’s right, we don’t have a 1st round pick.

Brooklyn Falc

March 16th, 2012
3:00 pm

This is indeed good news. I could not believe the level of Predator bashing on these web pages during the past week.

WTF?

March 16th, 2012
3:03 pm

Abes had 9.5 sacks last year and 3.5 were against the Jags. Didn’t we sign a Jag O lineman? What in the HELL is going on. Have the Falcons become a tax write off for Blank too? When are they gonna sign any quality players? DAMN! Atlanta has become Jacksonville North.Oh, ya good plan TD Let’s sign some coordinators from losing programs, bunch of nobody FAs and the same ole team we have lost in the playoffs with 3 of the last 4 years, GREAT PLAN! Super Bowl here we come.

Nique

March 16th, 2012
3:04 pm

Wimbley on the other side of Abe would be great & he would also help us transition to the 3-4 look, him & Kroy as the outside rush backers, with Abe & Babs pushing up front could be really difficult to protect against! Really happy to hear about Marcus coming in as well!

Jeff B

March 16th, 2012
3:05 pm

The sky is not falling, after all. Happy about the McNeil visit schedule too. Maybe Falcons fans were right about ONE of our free-agency wishes!

Joe

March 16th, 2012
3:06 pm

No problem Nique, just heard it over the radio, I will be pumped if we can get a healthy Marcus McNiel!!

MrJoad

March 16th, 2012
3:06 pm

Great news! He’s old, slow, overpaid and never gets to the QB.

Joe

March 16th, 2012
3:07 pm

Joe

March 16th, 2012
3:08 pm

I keep spelling McNeill wrong…

GDawg

March 16th, 2012
3:08 pm

Great to see the Predator come back home it would be great for McNeil and Wimbley.

Nique

March 16th, 2012
3:08 pm

WTF?

You can say what you want about the Birds & a lot of choices they’ve made but not ABE, who got 2 sacks in the playoffs as well, so while your doging him & quoting stats, include that!!! Abe comes to play in the big game! He is injury prone & can’t play every snap, which is why is asking price started off way to high & while they waited until he lowered it to sign him, but now that it came down, there is no question that this was the right move!!! Think back to the playoff losses, Abe showed up, Abe comes to play in BIg games which is more than i can say for most of the players on our roster! Go move TD!

Sweeet

March 16th, 2012
3:08 pm

I’m glad we got him back, wish we could keep Lofton as well…

rivercard

March 16th, 2012
3:08 pm

Schultz claims no McNeil visit with Falcons is scheduled at this time.

PMC

March 16th, 2012
3:09 pm

Wooo! Happy JA55 is back in the fold.

Chub Rock

March 16th, 2012
3:10 pm

rivercard- The truly loony talk came from anybody thinking Kroy Biermann was the answer at RDE.

Rod 'straight outta Augusta'

March 16th, 2012
3:12 pm

WTF?, our new OL from Jags was not playing when Abe got those sacks. C’mon dude…know your stuff. Sn: He was out of the league last year due to an ankle injury and wanted to heal properly. He is over 340 pounds, an ankle just dont heal overnight.

@CaliDirtyBird

March 16th, 2012
3:14 pm

Ok.. Im glad to see Abe back but we really need to add another DE to play opposite Abe. Right now we have the same defensive front as last year. Its not gonna cut it.

rivercard

March 16th, 2012
3:14 pm

Chub- Agree Kroy solution crazier than Sid. I actually like Sidbury just couldn’t buy claims he is comparable replacement for someone like Abraham.

WTF?

March 16th, 2012
3:15 pm

Nique your right he DID as in past tense but he is old and as last year proved slow. His groin has never been the same since he originally injured it and he is prone to injury. Which is by -the-way what happened in the play off game against Greenbay. I bet he doesn’t make it past game 4 before he’s out for the year. This is not a good signing and you can forget about Kameron Wimbley. He ain’t coming near us now so I ask you what do the Falcons do when Abes old ass goes down

slydog

March 16th, 2012
3:16 pm

@Pete…
March 16th, 2012
2:50 pm

‘That picture is not Abe. It is Spoon.
Glad we got the predator back though.”

Sorry, Pete,we all don’t look alike. That is John Abraham. Spoon has a darker hue and he has no beard.

Chub Rock

March 16th, 2012
3:16 pm

rivercard- Maybe Shultz hasn’t a clue. LOL

Dave Birkett
‏ @davebirkett
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Marcus McNeill plans to visit the Falcons and Chiefs next week. He took a physical w/Lions, said he was cleared a week ago to play.

rivercard

March 16th, 2012
3:18 pm

slydog- In Pete’s defense ,the original picture was of Spoon.

WTF?

March 16th, 2012
3:18 pm

So what J-ville cast off should we pick up next?

Chub Rock

March 16th, 2012
3:22 pm

rivercard- No I would not say he is a replacement for Abe but I can say he has not been given a chance to replace anybody. Last season every time the guy came in the game and got a sack he was not allowed to play in the next week LOL. It’s like this coach punishes the guy for being productive. This coach came out after the game in which Sid got 2 sacks and talked about how the guy made everybody take notice then turned right around and benched the guy for the next game.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 16th, 2012
3:22 pm

The Falcons would like to meet with McNeil. There is nothing set up at this time.

Chub Rock

March 16th, 2012
3:24 pm

slydog-LMAO!! Kudos to hue sir.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 16th, 2012
3:24 pm

Nique — I haven’t heard them mention Wimberly’s name. The McNeil leak is some agent posturing at this time. They do want to kick the tires and see if he can pass their physical.

Nativebird

March 16th, 2012
3:27 pm

keeping our DE’s, resigning our Altanta Houswife and letting our MLB walk isnt exactly what I call upgrading from last year. Apparently there ARE some sacred cows on this team Thomas. But a sacred cow 5th round pick from Montana, whos biggest contribution to Atlanta is a housewives reality show? Are we living in alternate universe?

rivercard

March 16th, 2012
3:29 pm

Chub- When you have a coach like BVG who was obviously not NFL caliber you get decisions like what you discussed.

I still put more value in quality of players, but I do think this D will be better under Nolan.

BIRDSFLYHIGH

March 16th, 2012
3:31 pm

BIRDSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

BigTimeTECHFan

March 16th, 2012
3:31 pm

(St Bonn vs FSU) when I open the blog the score was 19-10, buy the time I read some comments and check the score again it was 22-20

Falconidiot

March 16th, 2012
3:32 pm

i PREY HE DIDN’T GET HALF OF WHAT HE WANTED! His two game effort last year was priceless. Falcons still have NO PASS RUSH!

bravesfansince1961

March 16th, 2012
3:35 pm

Huzzah. I’m glad Abe is coming back. I too would like to see McNeill replace Baker at LT if healthy and affordable.

Left Coast Dawg

March 16th, 2012
3:40 pm

Did anyone ever answer my question the other day? What is a scared cow?

Left Coast Dawg

March 16th, 2012
3:42 pm

…oh yeah, good move on re-signing Abe. Once Super Mario signed with the Bills, this was a no-brainer for Dmitty. Now we need to figure out how to get rid of Grimes and upgrade the CB positions.

Sid

March 16th, 2012
3:43 pm

Ok…………….this is ok………don’t know what he cost us and wonder how many sacks he will be good for @ age 37………………….

Gamer

March 16th, 2012
3:47 pm

CONGRATULATIONS ABE, THANKS YOU FOR GIVEN US THREE MORE YEARS OF DE RUSH!

FALCONS PLAYOFF CHANCES IS SMELLING MORE AND MORE LIKE 2013 SUPERBOWL APPEARANCE…..