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Talk in Atlanta of John Abraham as a Hall of Famer

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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.

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55 Responses to “Talk in Atlanta of John Abraham as a Hall of Famer”
  1. breadslicer says: Jul 2, 2012 11:08 AM

    As an Atlanta fan I agree the resume is a bit thin.

  2. eaglesw00t says: Jul 2, 2012 11:10 AM

    Clyde Simmons and Kevin Greene were both better players. They will never get in.

    Abraham has no business in the HOF.

  3. nyfcat says: Jul 2, 2012 11:11 AM

    No way.
    He’s had a solid career, but there’s no way he gets in over Kevin Greene (3rd all time in sacks) especially if he’s never even played in a Super Bowl.

  4. paulitik74 says: Jul 2, 2012 11:12 AM

    A Super Bowl win preceded by a 15 sack season might ice it for him, but unfortunately, the media will never give anyone that plays for Atlanta any credit. It’s a joke that Tommy Nobis isn’t in.

  5. uwsptke says: Jul 2, 2012 11:12 AM

    As you say, consistently good but not great. I love Donald Driver, but I’m not crazy enough to think that being consinstently good over a long career qualifies someone for the HOF. The same logic applies to Abraham. Using sacks to measure current players, especially with the proliferation of the passing game (more chances for sacks) isn’t that impressive unless they were cracking the top 3-5 all time.

    Kevin Greene should really be the next guy in out of that group you mentioned.

  6. ShimSham says: Jul 2, 2012 11:13 AM

    He’s been a pass rush specialist player, not playing every snap for a lot of his career. As mentioned, he’s never led the league in sacks and he’s not consistently in the top group there.

    It seems like every player who plays 10+ years now is getting HOF consideration. The truth of the matter though is there’s a log jam of HOF worthy players waiting to get in right now.

  7. flapjackdaddy says: Jul 2, 2012 11:18 AM

    He hasn’t been playing the run for three years.

  8. corduroy88 says: Jul 2, 2012 11:18 AM

    I started to think: “Yea, maybe Abraham could be considered for the HOF.” Then I saw that Kevin Greene isn’t in the HOF, so no, John Abraham does not belong.

  9. edavidberg says: Jul 2, 2012 11:19 AM

    I’d be surprised if he made it. Very good player for a long time but you have to be great to make the Hall of Fame.

  10. sc5000 says: Jul 2, 2012 11:21 AM

    They need to change the process for the HOF, mainly get the biased writers out of the process.

  11. 69jaredallen69 says: Jul 2, 2012 11:22 AM

    This is some kind of joke right? Nice player but in no way a hall of fame player

  12. packfntk says: Jul 2, 2012 11:22 AM

    112 sacks so far, I could possibly see it. Not 1st ballot, but I could see it. 3 or so more good years and he could have a good arguement.

  13. cmdrsmooth says: Jul 2, 2012 11:25 AM

    Always a great specimen, but never achieved consistent greatness. Just flashes. Too injury prone.

  14. handsofsweed says: Jul 2, 2012 11:26 AM

    He’ll end up in the Clay Matthews, Sr., James Farrior, Ken Stabler, Edgerrin James-led “Hall of Very, Very Good.”

  15. True Talker says: Jul 2, 2012 11:26 AM

    Wow my favorite Panther of all time Kevin Greene getting a lot of love! Cool!

  16. lbpackfan says: Jul 2, 2012 11:27 AM

    Does mocking Aaron Rodgers then getting slayed in the playoffs by Green Bay help his chances at all?

  17. justincase92121 says: Jul 2, 2012 11:36 AM

    Not HOF caliber player, there are way more qualified players who are ahead of him. If he does get in, they might as have a sign-in sheet for just about anyone who feel they are qualified to getting into Canton.

  18. thraiderskin says: Jul 2, 2012 11:36 AM

    I thought Atlanta used Abraham as a situational pass-rusher, how do you put a part-time I’m not saying hes not good, but when his sole responsibility is to get sacks and he is put into the games at passing moments, his numbers would then be scewed.

  19. ShimSham says: Jul 2, 2012 11:40 AM

    “They need to change the process for the HOF, mainly get the biased writers out of the process.”

    You say that as if there are unbiased writers out there, or if all the current HOF players and coaches are without bias as well.

  20. realdealsteel says: Jul 2, 2012 11:42 AM

    Abraham isn’t a Hall of Famer by any stretch. I hate the way the Hall of Fame has been watered down by the likes of Howie Long, Michael Irvin to just name a few. Because then it creates conversations about other non deserving players like Abraham.

    The Hall of Fame is about players who were dominate at their positions for a sustained period. And that isn’t Abraham. It isn’t Howie Long and it isn’t Michael Irvin.

  21. rabidbillsfan says: Jul 2, 2012 11:48 AM

    Who cares about how he ranks against former players, I can name 5-10 CURRENT players who are younger that have a better shot at Canton. As far as active DE’s, Jared Allen has the best chance to make the HOF in my opinion. He was robbed the DPOY, and even a Superbowl berth, but he is a terror to opposing offenses. This is what I didn’t like about the argument against Allen for DPOY, “He Played on a bad team.” Ummm…. Yeah, he played on a bad team that played from behind. Most teams ran on Minnesota after they took the lead, reducing the amount of sack oprotunities for Allen. Averaging over 11.5 sacks a season for 9 years is pretty remarkable. Sure he would need to keep that up for another 2-3, but he’s only 30. After Allen, I see Suggs, Ware, Peppers, and maybe Abaraham, but that all depends on how guys like Aldon Smith and Von Miller turn out. Either way, outside of Atlanta, are there any splash plays the nation remembers about Abraham? I don’t.

  22. JaminJake says: Jul 2, 2012 11:51 AM

    If Greene isn’t in the hall, NO WAY ABRAHAM should be.

  23. nolahxc says: Jul 2, 2012 11:56 AM

    I may or may not be wrong, but is he even a 3 down DE?

  24. barrywhererufrom says: Jul 2, 2012 11:58 AM

    Wow..as a lifelong Jet fan this turd quit on the Jets when they needed him the most..but doesn’t everyone? That being said Abraham never was the best at his position..goes to show you if you stick around long enough and have decent years your name may come up as a possible HOF candidate..in this case no way should Abraham be a Hall of Famer..

  25. dondada10 says: Jul 2, 2012 12:03 PM

    I seem to remember Abraham missing the Jets divisional round playoff game vs. the Raiders because he had a cold/his period. HOF? Hell no.

  26. shaunypoo says: Jul 2, 2012 12:06 PM

    There are a lot of players who put up great numbers every year (Ware, Allen) who will eventually exceed what Abraham did. I don’t see any players retiring right now who are better than “very good” and don’t deserve HOF recognition other than Tomlinson. There may be a few, but not many.

  27. geauxmez says: Jul 2, 2012 12:11 PM

    Failcans cant rise.

  28. mrgroovesd says: Jul 2, 2012 12:12 PM

    Hard to see him make it if those other guys were great and not in the HOF.

  29. jtdapit50 says: Jul 2, 2012 12:13 PM

    He needs 150 sacks and a defensive player o the year and a ring. Then he’ll be in. at this point I feel Dwight freeney would make it to the HOF before Abraham

  30. slickster35 says: Jul 2, 2012 12:19 PM

    Theres only one HOFer on that team, and he’s a Kansas City Chief.

  31. godofwine330 says: Jul 2, 2012 12:28 PM

    He definitely gets in the Hall of Very Good, but that is a negative on the Hall of Fame. Also a candidate for the HOVG, Donovan McNabb, Rich Gannon. Matt Light, Chad Ocho Cinco/Johnson. Players like that.

  32. runtheball says: Jul 2, 2012 12:29 PM

    Kevin Greene should be in the HOF. It is not just the numbers. Greene excelled at 3 different positions: 4-3 DE, 4-3 OLB, and 3-4 OLB. He was very similar to Karl Mecklenburg, a real throwback.

  33. dirtybird70 says: Jul 2, 2012 12:31 PM

    If he can come up with 40 sacks over the next 2 seasons he’s got my vote

  34. autumnwind999 says: Jul 2, 2012 12:33 PM

    realdealsteel says:
    Jul 2, 2012 11:42 AM
    Abraham isn’t a Hall of Famer by any stretch. I hate the way the Hall of Fame has been watered down by the likes of Howie Long, Michael Irvin to just name a few. Because then it creates conversations about other non deserving players like Abraham.

    The Hall of Fame is about players who were dominate at their positions for a sustained period. And that isn’t Abraham. It isn’t Howie Long and it isn’t Michael Irvin.

    ———————

    Comparing Abraham to Howie Long and Michael Irvin? Saying those two guys don’t belong in the HOF?

    I assume you’re trolling but the fact that the thumbs ups on your comment outnumber the thumbs downs is what really shocks me.

    Long is one of the greatest all-around defensive linemen of all time. He could do it all, and did, over a long period.

    Irvin is considered by many as a top-5 of all-time WRs. I might not go quite that far, but he’s a slam-dunk HOFer, no doubt. Great player who was a key piece on Dallas’ dynasty — which was hands down the team of the 90s.

    If you wanted to name a WR who doesn’t belong you’d have a much better case with Lynn Swann. Cliff Branch, Cris Carter and Tim Brown all had far, far superior careers to Swann yet are still on the outside looking in. I’d be shocked if Carter and Brown don’t get in in short order.

    Regardless, there’s no way Irvin is not a HOFer … just like there’s no way Abraham is a HOFer.

  35. CKL says: Jul 2, 2012 12:42 PM

    I’m glad a NYJ fan came on here and talked about how this dude is a quitter, because I was going to post that. A lot of Jets fans hate this guy, and rightfully so.

    Here’s a guy who needs his team to back him for HOF: Jason Taylor. Every down player, tremendously talented, worked his butt off etc. I beet if you asked HIM what he’d rather have, he’d say ring, not HOF.

  36. radrntn says: Jul 2, 2012 12:47 PM

    get in line pal

  37. handsofsweed says: Jul 2, 2012 1:02 PM

    @rabid bills fan:

    Pretty good argument, but there is a huge omission. If you’re going to mention Suggs and Ware (and you should), you probably should first mention James Harrison.

  38. tbtrojan says: Jul 2, 2012 1:07 PM

    Atlanta fans are deluded if they think he gets in.
    As a Bucs fan I find it far fetched that Simeon Rice will make the HoF and he was a better, more dominant player with more sacks and a Super Bowl ring.
    If Rice isn’t even in the debate what makes them think Abraham will be?

  39. delshofner says: Jul 2, 2012 1:09 PM

    Jason Babin. HOF. Lock it up.

  40. leonbryte says: Jul 2, 2012 1:10 PM

    He can gain admittance like the rest of us, by purchasing a ticket.

  41. runtheball says: Jul 2, 2012 1:51 PM

    autumnwind999 agreed with you until you mentioned Swann. Swann doesn’t have numbers because of the era. Tim Brown and Chris Carter had more passes thrown their way in most games than the total passes thrown in games that Swann played in. Those 5 yd hitches that pad their catch stats didn’t happen in Swann’s day, WR were getting back up after the corner knocked them down at 5 yards.

  42. sinnermike says: Jul 2, 2012 1:54 PM

    There must be a sale on crack in Atlanta. Abraham is not even close to being in HOF conversation.

  43. cobrala2 says: Jul 2, 2012 1:54 PM

    The ignorance of Atlanta (pro) football fans rears its ugly head yet again. /smh

    What a crock.

  44. pftstory says: Jul 2, 2012 2:16 PM

    The Falcons are judt trying to sell why they kept this guy… The story is from the Falcon’s website. So when they say the Falcons fans aare discussing it, it is the extreme homers who think they are going to get impartial news on a team website.
    It is not what Falcon fans think. Talk radio Falcon fans HOPE Nolan’s system and a better secondary will give him a chance for one more decent year or two. People who talk of a player being HOF quality expect greatness on his own.

  45. autumnwind999 says: Jul 2, 2012 2:41 PM

    runtheball says:
    Jul 2, 2012 1:51 PM
    autumnwind999 agreed with you until you mentioned Swann. Swann doesn’t have numbers because of the era. Tim Brown and Chris Carter had more passes thrown their way in most games than the total passes thrown in games that Swann played in. Those 5 yd hitches that pad their catch stats didn’t happen in Swann’s day, WR were getting back up after the corner knocked them down at 5 yards.

    ————————

    I’m not out to pick on Swann. I’m not saying it’s an outrage that he’s in. My point is that if you’re going to question guys in the HOF you’ve got to do better than Long and Irvin, who are really slam-dunk HOF players. I think it was silly to say Long and Irvin “water down” the meaning of the HOF. If you want to make that argument cite guys like Swann, Cortez Kennedy, Chris Doleman, etc. who were a little more borderline, IMO.

    Different eras aside, Irvin, Brown, Carter and Andre Reed for that matter had far superior careers than Swann.

    Swann got in largely because of some epic, iconic Super Bowl catches immortalized by NFL Films slow-motion footage and the fact that he was a high profile player who played on a Steelers dynasty. Cliff Branch, who played in the exact same era as Swann, is never even a finalist for the Hall despite the fact that his receiving numbers across the board in every meaningful statistical category and also number of All Pro recognitions were head and shoulders above Swann.

  46. cardmagnet says: Jul 2, 2012 2:57 PM

    I believe talk of John Abraham as a Hall of Famer will never leave the Atlanta fanbase, save the occasional article like this referencing them. Good player, not great.

  47. tmar1961 says: Jul 2, 2012 3:01 PM

    As a diehard Falcons fan since 1967, even I dont think he is HOF material and echo the statement that Falcons players dont get credit from the media. Tommy Nobis DEFINITELY belongs in HOF

  48. pantherstimes says: Jul 2, 2012 3:11 PM

    Speaking as a Panthers fan – Who the h3!! are these Atlanta Falcons you’re talking about?

  49. turdfurgerson68 says: Jul 2, 2012 3:18 PM

    Falcon fans would be wise to focus their Hall of Fame energies to pushing for Tommy Nobis and forget about Abraham…no way he’s getting in.

    Nobis was a beast…sheer maddness he’s not in the Hall.

  50. buccaroo989 says: Jul 2, 2012 4:27 PM

    If they have a ring of honor in Atlanta, I could see him as a good choice. I also think he has been a very good player for several years now and have always heard good things about him as a teammate and as a solid citizen in the fine metropolis of Atlanta. I think John is the kind of guy most of us would like to have as a teammate or to play for us. That being said, I think the founding fathers of the NFL Hall of fame would roll over in their collective graves, if the Atlanta media got this guy into the hall simply because they have no upper echelon players to push for. I think the franchise has struggled for a while to develop talent that could play at an elite level for very long, leg alone get into the hall. If this goes through, whose next
    Chris Redmund?, Jamal Anderson?

  51. bobhk says: Jul 2, 2012 8:06 PM

    Right or wrong but Haley was a final 15 candidate for HOF while Greene has not been. Sacks alone does not do it. Haley was a very key player in 5 championships and he had a big role in them.

    So, no, Abraham is not a HOFamer.

  52. shadow1018 says: Jul 2, 2012 9:42 PM

    If this guy is a hall of famer then I am too.

  53. shadow1018 says: Jul 2, 2012 9:43 PM

    Only a Falcon fan would think this guy is a Hall of Famer!!

  54. dryzzt23 says: Jul 2, 2012 9:46 PM

    LC Greenwood should get in before Abraham

  55. deathtoromo says: Jul 2, 2012 10:08 PM

    Wow. No fn way. I get tired of espn announcers throwing around ” future hall of famer ” comments too. John Abraham?! Smh ….

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