When the Atlanta Falcons released several players this NFL offseason to create some salary cap space as well as bring in some fresh blood, there was none more disappointing to fans than the release of defensive end John Abraham. As one of the team’s leaders, as well as being beloved in the community, it was sad for fans to see The Predator go.
With the signing of former New York Giants DE Osi Umenyiora, it seemed like Abraham had been replaced and that any chance of him returning was now thwarted.
Not so, says Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff. In an interview with the NFL Network, Dimitroff confirmed that the door may still indeed be open for Abraham to return for an eighth season with Atlanta.
“We never say never,” Dimitroff said during his appearance. “There is a lot on the horizon. We have some decisions to make across the organization, but we never say never as far as acquiring or bringing people back.”
Most importantly, Abraham–along with most other veteran players who have not been signed yet–will more than likely have to wait until after the upcoming NFL Draft before their phones begin to ring. If Atlanta is able to pick up a pass rush specialist with one of their draft picks, the chances of Abe coming back to the Falcons is slim.
But Atlanta has many draft needs this season, so depending on how the picks fall and who the Falcons have on their big board, the possibility exists that they may not get a defensive end who they feel will give them what they need right way. If that’s the case, then the call to Abraham will more than likely be one of the first ones that Dimitroff makes.
In a 13-year career, seven with Atlanta, Abraham has compiled some impressive numbers, including 122 sacks and 43 forced fumbles in 175 NFL games.