Steve Wyche of NFL.com reported yesterday that in talks with Rich Rosa, the agent of impending free agent defensive John Abraham, that the veteran player is likely headed for free agency based on the current level of contract negotiations with the team.
That report comes on the heels of Mark Bradley’s predictions in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the Falcons “won’t spend big” to keep Abraham. Abraham was the team’s top pass rusher this past year with 9.5 sacks, and will turn 34 in May. He first joined the Falcons in 2006 and has been one of their more prominent and stalwart defensive players since that time, having led the team in sacks in four of the past five seasons.
Bradley also made the educated guesses that the team will use their franchise tag on cornerback Brent Grimes, and won’t be too broken up if middle linebacker Curtis Lofton departs via free agency. In the case of Lofton, it mirrors what Len Pasquarelli wrote two weeks ago that the team views Lofton as a two-down defender and will pay him accordingly. It would appear that the Falcons are in the same vein with Abraham, that they will opt to keep them at the right price.
The Falcons seem poised to let players such as Abraham and Lofton test the market if they don’t manage to re-sign them before March 13.