While there are quite a few pass rushers still available in free agency, not to mention coming through the draft, it seems the New England Patriots are quite interested in John Abraham, who paid the team a visit over the weekend and it’ll probably come down to choosing between them and the Miami Dolphins.
While Abraham, who’ll be turning 35 in a couple of months, is no longer a every-down kind of pass-rusher, he probably fits the mold of what the Patriots need, thinking about finding who can help youngster Chandler Jones and fellow starter Rob Ninkovich, not someone to replace them. Seeing as 57% of their defensive snaps in the 2012 NFL season were with at least one of their substitutes on the field, Abraham seems more of a fit by the minute.
Abraham wouldn’t need to do a lot of run stopping – just the occasional pass-rush addition, and possibly help Jones into becoming a much more formidable quarterback hunter. Abraham, a 13 year veteran, has 122 sacks in his career with the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons, the NFL leader among active players. Despite his age, he fit very well into the Atlanta system last season, recording 10 sacks and a career high 7 deflected passes. His stamina isn’t what it used to be, but with the right kind of rest, he’s still one of the more useful pass-rushers out there.
Abraham isn’t the only option for the Pats, nor are they for him – they’re looking into the option of signing Dwight Freeney, while the Elvis Dumervil issue still isn’t resolved, hoping he and the Broncos don’t reach an agreement. Meanwhile, Abraham is meeting with another AFC East team, the Miami Dolphins, who can probably beat the Patriots when it comes to the money they can offer the veteran defensive end.