Falcons defensive end John Abraham knows where he ranks on the NFL’s all-time career sack list, and he likes where his ranking puts him among the great pass rushers in NFL history.
In fact, Abraham told Mike Garafolo of USA Today that he believes as he keeps climbing up the sack charts, he’s going to earn a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“I’m not saying I’m solidified as one, but I definitely have a chance to be if I continue to play the way I’m playing and get a couple of more years out of this raggedy body of mine and put some more numbers up,” Abraham said. “I’m 13th overall right now [in career sacks] and, if I can play well enough, I can get in the top 10 or top five. That would be nice.”
Abraham has 122 sacks in his career, and with five more he’ll pass Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas for No. 12 all time. The 34-year-old Abraham, who has 10 sacks through 13 games this season, could realistically record 38.5 more sacks in his career, which is what he needs to move ahead of Kevin Greene for No. 3 all time. But Greene has been voted down several times by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee, so there’s no guarantee that reaching No. 3 all time would put Abraham in Canton.
And Abraham doesn’t have any realistic chance of passing Bruce Smith and Reggie White, who at 200 and 198 sacks respectively are first and second in NFL history. So No. 3 all-time is as high as Abraham is going to get. (It’s also worth noting that sacks have only been an official statistic since 1982, so we’ll never know how many sacks some of the great players of the past, like Deacon Jones, recorded.)
So while Abraham has had a career he deserves to be proud of, he probably needs at least a few more good years before he gets to Canton. And even that may not be enough.