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Wednesday, July 24, 2013
John Abraham and the Cardinals' pass rush

By Mike Sando

Veteran pass-rusher John Abraham was an option for the Seattle Seahawks before the team signed Cliff Avril in free agency.

Now, the division-rival Arizona Cardinals are taking a look at him.

Abraham is paying a free-agent visit to the Cardinals on Wednesday, according to Mike Jurecki and Adam Schefter. The chart shows Abraham's production over the past three seasons, all with the Atlanta Falcons. Abraham signed a three-year deal with the Falcons in 2012, but the team released him in March of this year, two months before Abraham turned 35.

The Cardinals could use outside pass-rush help even though they ranked sixth in sacks per pass attempt last season. They got a team-high nine sacks from inside linebacker Daryl Washington, who will serve a four-game suspension to open the season.

While Arizona apparently intends to remain a base 3-4 team on defense, the team has acquired players with 4-3 flexibility this offseason. Abraham projects as more of a 4-3 player. He has visited the Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots this offseason amid reports his expectations for a contract and playing time might have been too high. If market forces have suppressed those expectations, the Cardinals could be in position to get a decent value.

Sam Acho, O'Brien Schofield, Lorenzo Alexander and rookie Alex Okafor are among the players competing for playing time at outside linebacker for the Cardinals. Acho, Schofield and Alexander combined for 10.5 sacks last season. Abraham had 10.