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Monday, May 6, 2013
Falcons don't need to take step back

By Pat Yasinskas

The Atlanta Falcons let go of John Abraham before the start of free agency. It might be time for their fans to finally let Abraham go.

Abraham
The veteran defensive end remains an unsigned free agent. Recent tweets suggesting he was retiring were quickly deleted and a source said Abraham wants to continue playing. But that latest twist shouldn’t fuel the group of fans that think Abraham should re-sign with the Falcons.

That probably isn’t going to happen. The Falcons didn’t release Abraham with the intention of bringing back. When you release a player of Abraham’s magnitude, it’s not something you do lightly. The Falcons looked at Abraham’s age and salary and decided it was time to part ways. If they wanted to keep Abraham at a reduced salary, they probably would have asked him to take a cut in pay before releasing him.

Instead, the Falcons have moved forward. They signed Osi Umenyiora to replace Abraham as their main pass rusher. Then, they went out and drafted Malliciah Goodman and Stansly Maponga. They already had two other young defensive ends in Jonathan Massaquoi and Cliff Matthews.

General manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith believe in having a mixture of experience and youth on their roster. They want to start getting some of those young defensive ends on the field. Bringing back Abraham wouldn’t help that process.

The Falcons are looking to take a step forward. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to take a step back.