John Abraham A Fit For The Titans?
By Josh Gunnels
Jan 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith talks to defensive end John Abraham (55) during the second quarter of the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
John Abraham is just the kind of guy the Titans front office likes.
The Tennessee Titans have made no bones about the fact that they’re looking for veteran leadership in free agency this year, as well as looking to upgrade certain positions of need. Well look no further at defensive end.
The Atlanta Falcons have added to the defensive end free agent pool by releasing John Abraham. Abraham had 10 sacks and 6 forced fumbles last year as he helped propel his team to the NFC Championship game. Our friends at PFF have Abraham rated as the second highest edge defender available just a hair behind Cowboys OLB Anthony Spencer, with an astonishing 22.1 rating. If you’re not familiar with their rating system, that’s an outstanding number. He is still a force to be reckoned with on the field and would definitely contribute a solid veteran presence in the locker room on the defensive side of the ball.
The knock on Abraham is obviously going to be his age. He’s 34 and had 13 years in the league split between the Jets and the Falcons. The good news is he’s only missed one game in the last six years for the Falcons. There are a handful of players that buck the trend as far as longevity are concerned (Tony Gonzalez, Ray Lewis), and I believe Abraham is one of these players. He has no major injury history and has shown no signs of slowing down with 32.5 sacks in his last 3 years. The best part about his age is that it will lessen the interest from other teams and hopefully lower his price tag a bit.
Judging by the free agent additions of Wimbley and Hutchinson last year, the Titans’ brass aren’t too worried about age anyways. The teams nucleus, especially on defense, is incredibly young as it is. The quality presence that Abraham could bring to the meeting rooms would be stellar and much needed on a defensive line full of young players. It would be a boon for sure to have Derrick Morgan learn beside a pro like Abraham as well.
The Titans have already added a penciled in upgrade over Jordan Babineaux at strong safety, when they brought in George Wilson from the Bills. Adding Abraham would leave them one interior lineman in free agency away from being able to draft the best player available, at the 10th selection, by covering their biggest needs with key veteran upgrades.
Johnson recently received the franchise tag from the Bengals. Osi and Freeney have the names without the production anymore. The pickings are slim at defensive end. I say the Titans should give Abraham a good two year deal and instantly bolster a much maligned defensive front.