John Abraham likes his chances of reaching the Hall of Fame


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.

38 responses to “John Abraham likes his chances of reaching the Hall of Fame

  1. Not sure why Greene isn’t in there. For as awesome and intimidating a player as he was he definitely deserves it, and his stats back it up. Best thing I can think of is that he played for so many different teams ultimately, and playing for one team your whole career seems to count for a lot to voters for some reason.

  2. Abe is a great player and was a superstar in NY. when he moved to Atlanta the NY press didnt follow. He’s an unsung hero in Atlanta along with Nobis , Tuggle, Kenn, Humphrey, Fralic, Whitfeild, Mathis. All these players would probably be in the HAll if they played for Dallas or NY.

  3. He’s consistently been a good to very good player for many years, but I don’t think he’s ever been a great player. I’m not sure that he’s ever been one of the top 5 players at his position at any point in his career. IMO that will make him a tough sell for the HOF.

  4. At 122 sacks right now he’s tied with Simeon Rice. If he makes it in he would be the 1st Dirty Bird to make it in. A long shot at best.

  5. Greene really should be in. As for Abe he has an outside shot but not a very good one. Been a really underrated player throughout his career though. Probably more a hall of really really good type career.

  6. I suspect Greene’s difficulty getting into Canton has more to do with his specialty role, more so than the fact that he played for multiple teams. He was a lot like Charles Haley – just a ferocious pass rusher, but limited mainly to passing downs. Both were awesome players, but perhaps a bit too one dimensional for a lot of the voters.

  7. Kevin Greene absolutely deserves enshrinement. The guy was a true force on the field, as well as a leader. His intensity, ability to inspire, to bowl over OLs much more massive than himself, his longevity. The guy got the quarterback, and also made other stops behind the line of scrimmage — for a long time.

    And though pretty much unrelated to his worthiness as an enshrinee, Greene also would do all kinds of cool things for the fans. One example is that he’d buy pizzas for fans standing in line in the cold rain for tickets.

    Huuuuge Kevin Greene fan.

  8. Does he stand out as one of the best three hundred players ever in the history of the game? Because right now there are 200+ guys in the hall. I just do not know if that is the case. Good to great pass rusher, but has never lead the league in sacks, never won POY on defense, and is not all that solid against the run. When you think of John Abraham do you think of Lawrence Taylor, Bruce Smith or Reggie White? They are Gold standard and the measure for all other pass rushers. I do not think so.

  9. If Klecko still isn’t in and won’t be getting in Abe never will, Joe was all pro at 3 positions and according to many had the highest sack season in history and to add to it flushed many QB’s to Gastineau for the sack…sorry dishonest Abe not happening you probably killed your chance standing on sideline at San Diego with an injury when we later find out it’s cuz you didn’t want to get hurt with your FA coming

  10. There are many more aspects to being a DE in the NFL other than sacks. Abraham has never been a champion against the run and has only excelled as a pass rusher when his snap count has been limited to pass situations. John Abraham is a very good player, but the great ones with the bronze busts play every down.

  11. No way he gets in. He slowing down. He has maybe 1 more decent year of football.
    Charles Haley can’t get in so how can he get in.

  12. Abraham was in the top ten in sacks four times, never higher than third best. Kevin Greene was in the top ten eight times, and twice led the league.

    Abraham = HOVG.

  13. What sperates ABE form other DE are the turnovers. He strips the ball better than anyone in the game. Take your sacks yates and smith, I’ll take Abes turnovers instead

  14. Kevin Green wont get in because of his off the field antics, just like marvin harrison. Green broke a little girls arm at an airport one time because she asked for an autograph. Hes not the type of person I would want in the HoF

  15. My take is that the Hall of Fame is kind of stupid (in terms of inclusion, exclusion, selection, etc.) and Hall of Fame debates are even stupider.

    As a general rule though, I would say if there’s a debate as to whether a player is a Hall-of-Famer, he probably isn’t (Not including London Fletcher, who’s inclusion in Canton should not be questioned).

  16. I wouldn’t think he’s Hall of Fame caliber. But hey, if they can enshrine Cortez Kennedy in the HoF, Abraham has a legitimate argument that he should be there, too.

  17. steviaquinn says: Dec 15, 2012 3:16 PM
    What sperates ABE form other DE are the turnovers. He strips the ball better than anyone in the game. Take your sacks yates and smith, I’ll take Abes turnovers instead
    Yates??? Good point though, otherwise.

  18. I think he fights being during the same period as other NFL pass rushers in order to get in. I think Greene should be in. As others alluded to, sometimes jumping around from teams loses some of that ‘legend’ or longstanding immortal-like imagery in which likely has an affect on HOF voting. Green played during the time of LT and Derrick Thomas and wasn’t quite as proficient as either.

    Abraham will likely have to outdo the Strahan (not likely, SB winner and Sack record) and Jared Allen or DeMarcus Ware (both have as many double digit sack seasons as Abraham in 4-5 less seasons).

  19. He is not Hall of Fame material and neither is Kevin Green. A good tackle could handle Green. Green was a cool guy towards the fans during his tenure in Pittsburgh though.

  20. Let’s put this HOF thing in perspective. The biggest self-promoter of all time, Howie Long, is in the Hall. In 13 seasons, Long had double-digit sacks only three times and finished his career with 84 sacks.

    There are 44 players with more career sacks than Long; 33 of those were/are traditional defensive linemen. And the list is growing.

    If a media darling like Long is in the Hall, then you at least have to contemplate a guy like Abraham.

    And yeah; with a 160 sacks (3rd all-time) and a disposition that would tarnish silver, Kevin Greene deserves serious consideration.

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