"And the Predator brings down Brees!"
If you have ever been to a Saints-Falcons game in Atlanta, then you know exactly what I am talking about. I don't know how many times my ears have heard that statement from the Georgia Dome announcer.
No matter how dreadful it was to see him rip through the Saints' offensive line, Abraham definitely deserved his nickname. He has been terrorizing quarterbacks since he was drafted in 2000 by the New York Jets. In fact, he has 122 total sacks, which averages out to over 9 per year in his career.
Pro Football Talk recently said that the Saints could be one of the teams that Abraham visits next. I was quite surprised when I saw this. Not only because he could come at a hefty cost, but because the Saints are transitioning to the 3-4 alignment. He has played in a 4-3 his past seven years in Atlanta.
The price to bring in the 6'4" 263 lbs. monster could be pretty interesting. You'd think he would come cheap since he is going to turn 35 this coming May, but that's false. His production hasn't slowed down in the slightest and he is staying relatively healthy. Since this is likely going to be his last contract, it shouldn't be extremely large, though. Even though the Saints are about $4 million over the cap, Will Smith, Jonathan Vilma, and Roman Harper haven't been dealt with yet. In my opinion, I think he would take a little bit of a pay cut to come to New Orleans because of the team's recent winning tradition.
The alignment situation could be a little tricky, too. I'm not sure how well he would conform to the 3-4. He apparently isn't too worried about it since he has already visited the 49ers, who also play in a 3-4.
Nevertheless, I still think the Saints should kick the tires on John Abraham. They drastically need a pass rusher with his talent and capabilities. He is an extreme threat to any team and there have been no signs of being able to shut him down. Along with his tremendous sack totals, he has 508 tackles, 44 forced fumbles, and even 25 defended passes.
The Saints' sack leader last year, Cameron Jordan, tallied eight sacks, which isn't bad. But the last time Abraham got eight or less sacks in a year was 2009 (5.5). He has gotten more than eight sacks nine times in his thirteen year career. That is an astounding number.
The Predator is well on his way to getting into the Hall of Fame with his statistics alone. I think joining the Saints, who are just a few pieces away from getting another Super Bowl, would be in his and the team's best interest.