Will Falcons defensive end John Abraham find himself in the Pro Football Hall of Fame some day? A lot of folks in Atlanta think so.
That’s the word from the team’s official website, which notes that there’s an ongoing discussion among Falcons fans, most of whom lean toward Abraham in the Hall of Fame. The team’s site notes that Abraham is the NFL’s active leader with 112 career sacks and that with a few more good seasons he could get into the Top 10 of all time.
However, the NFL has only kept sacks as an official statistic since 1982, so when the Falcons’ website says Abraham is 16th on the all-time rankings, what it really means is Abraham is 16th in the last 30 years. That’s not quite as impressive. And accumulating a bunch of sacks has never been sufficient to get a guy in the Hall of Fame: Kevin Greene is third all-time and he’s not in the Hall of Fame, and Leslie O’Neal, Clyde Simmons and Sean Jones are all in the Top 15 on the career sack list and have more career sacks than Abraham, and none of them has ever even been one of the 15 finalists for Hall of Fame consideration.
Abraham has been a consistently good player, but not a great one. Abraham has never led the league in sacks and has only been in the Top 5 twice, and few consider him among the great defensive players of his generation. Outside Atlanta, where the fans may be a tad biased, it’s unlikely you’ll find many people who consider Abraham a Hall of Famer.
Of course, the 34-year-old Abraham is still an active player. It’s possible he could have a few more strong seasons and make a good case that he belongs in Canton. But right now, his Hall of Fame résumé looks thin.