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No Place Like Dome For Ex-Falcon Abraham

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Defensive end John Abraham finds himself in a familiar offseason position as a free agent after recordings at least 9.5 sacks for the second straight season wearing an Atlanta Falcons uniform. Atlanta is reportedly one of a handful of teams he's been in discusion with this offseason. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.
Defensive end John Abraham finds himself in a familiar offseason position as a free agent after recordings at least 9.5 sacks for the second straight season wearing an Atlanta Falcons uniform. Atlanta is reportedly one of a handful of teams he's been in discusion with this offseason. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham spent part of 2012 searching for a contract as a free agent.

The veteran found few takers despite a respectable 2011 season in which he recorded 9.5 sacks to help the Falcons advance to the playoffs. 

Abraham found only the Tennessee Titans offering a contract along with the Falcons. Ultimately, he was left with only one option and re-signed with Atlanta to continue calling the Georgia Dome home.

Fast forward to 2013, Abraham is in much the same position as last year. After recording a team-high 10 sacks for the Falcons in 2012, he was released by the team in an effort to alleviate salary cap issues. Abraham has garnered interest from Miami, Seattle, San Francisco, New England and Denver. The Falcons are reportedly interested in bringing Abraham back, but he remains a free agent.

Why is a productive player with 122 career sacks still available? Frankly, NFL economics can be cruel to a player who wants more than his perceived value.  Abraham's sack totals over the past two seasons point to a player who has disappeared in divisional games.

In 2011, Abraham recorded only one of his 9.5 sacks against divisional opponents.  Only two of his 9.5 in 2011 came against teams that finished over .500.  In 2012, that trend continued as he collected only two of his 10 sacks against teams from the NFC South. None of his 10 sacks in 2012 came against teams that finished over .500.

For a player looking for one more quality contract, Abraham continues to sit in the free-agent market. While his overall statistics do not point to deserving a veteran minimum contract player, a look inside those numbers apparently is the reason why he remains off the radar of contending teams in need of a defensive end with a noteworthy history of sacking quarterbacks.