The Atlanta Falcons have their new pass-rusher. It’s their old pass-rusher.
The deal is for three years, and financial terms have yet to be disclosed. But I think it’s safe to assume the yearly average is somewhere less than the $12 million or more Abraham said he was looking for before free agency.
The Falcons let Abraham test the market a bit and it didn’t seem like he was a red-hot commodity. Understandable, because he’s about to turn 34.
That’s why I’m not sure that this was the best possible move the Falcons could have made. They could have pursued Mario Williams, who signed with Buffalo. I’m not sure if the Falcons even poked around on Williams or any other pass-rushers, but they obviously don’t have a ton of salary-cap room, so that may have prevented a flashy move.
I think Abraham’s been a very good player for the Falcons, but you have to worry about a decline in play because of his age. Abraham had 9.5 sacks last season, but 3.5 of those came against a hapless Jacksonville team.
But the Falcons are going with what they know. Their coaching staff is very familiar with Abraham, and their medical and training staffs probably have a good idea if he has anything left in the tank. The Falcons must believe Abraham has something left. But it sure would be nice if the other starting defensive end, Ray Edwards, who signed a big contract last year, is more productive in the pass rush next season.
In one other bit of news that should make Atlanta fans, who have been critical of the team for staying quiet in free agency, very happy, the Falcons reportedly will visit with former San Diego left tackle Marcus McNeill next week. Aside from defensive end, left tackle might have been Atlanta's biggest need entering free agency.