Just as it looked like John Abraham was going to start training camp without a new team, he and the Arizona Cardinals were able to come to an agreement on Thursday. The two sides signed off on a two-year deal after a meeting on Wednesday. Abraham had reportedly been asking more than teams were willing to pay him at 35, and thus why he was still on the open market in late July.
The reason teams weren’t willing to shell out substantial cash for the veteran is likely because he’ll be playing in a limited capacity for the rest of his career. That’s exactly what he figures to do with the Cardinals, as they already have a solid defensive unit in place.
The biggest change for Abraham in 2013 beyond his new scenery, will be the fact that Arizona plays a 3-4 defense. Abraham has been a classic 4-3 defensive end with the Atlanta Falcons for the last seven years and now he’ll be forced to modify his game as an outside linebacker in the 3-4. The two positions are somewhat equivalent, however his new position will have him playing from an upright stance.
But regardless of where he lines up or how he lines up, Abraham will have one job in the desert – hit the quarterback. He’s going to be a pass-rush specialist at this point in his career, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. This signing is a win for both sides. The Cardinals get a proven pass-rusher that will help them pressure opposing quarterbacks, while the aging veteran gets to join a solid unit with a lot of potential moving forward.
Signing Abraham doesn’t dramatically improve the Cardinals by any means, but it’s definitely another step in the right direction towards getting back into playoff contention.
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