According to source close to Mike Loyko of NEPatriotsDraft.com and USA Today, the New England Patriots are considered the heavy favorites to land free agent defensive end John Abraham. Loyko sent out a pair of encouraging tweets for Patriots fans on Sunday:
By the way.. I was told today "New England is likely to land John Abraham" they hope to finish a deal in next couple weeks— Mike Loyko (@NEPD_Loyko) April 28, 2013
With Shaun Phillips head to Denver.. the #Patriots are the front runners to sign John Abraham.. sides still working on deal.— Mike Loyko (@NEPD_Loyko) April 28, 2013
Abraham, who turns 35 next Monday, registered 33 tackles and 10 sacks in 2012 with the Atlanta Falcons. Over his 13 NFL seasons, Abraham has recorded 122 sacks in 175 career games. The Falcons decided to cut Abraham, who was due just south of $4 million in 2013.
If the news about a forthcoming Abraham deal is true, then the Patriots will be adding a strong veteran presence to a relatively young group of pass rushers. This group includes Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jamie Collins, Justin Francis, Jermaine Cunningham, Jake Bequette, Michael Buchanan, Marcus Benard and Jason Vega.
If Abraham is signed, veteran players like Cunningham and Bequette may have a tougher time making the squad. Cunningham, being the likely loose end.