With rumors circulating that defensive end John Abraham is seeking more than $12 million annually and will almost certainly be testing the open market when free agency opens on March 13, the Atlanta Falcons are reportedly set to begin preparing for a future without the 12-year veteran. According the the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Falcons are on the verge of agreeing to terms on a three- or four-year contract extension with defensive end Kroy Biermann.
Biermann, who had 37 tackles, 2.5 sacks and an interception in a reserve role for the Falcons in 2011, is probably better known for his marriage to Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim Zolciak than his performance on the gridiron, but the fourth-year pro has quietly put together a solid professional career, highlighted by 14 starts in 2009 and a career-high five sacks two years ago.
It was vitally important the Falcons attempt to lock up Biermann at a reasonable price, as last year's big free-agent prize, defensive end Ray Edwards, flopped badly in his first season in Atlanta. And although Abraham led the Falcons with 9.5 sacks in 2011, the contract demands he recently made to the Journal-Constitution would seem to have priced the 33 year-old out of Atlanta's reach.
If I was playing terrible ... no question, five million. I’m not a money chaser, but at the same time I’m expecting to get paid like everybody else is getting paid. Check out the five top ends. Everybody is getting 12-plus. I made eight million last year. Everybody is saying, "Oh, he’s so greedy." How am I greedy when I’m just trying to get paid the same thing they are getting paid? There are guys out there getting more money than me, but my production is the same as theirs or at least close.
This isn't to say the Falcons shouldn't continue to attempt to upgrade a pass rush that ranked 19th in the National Football League in sacks a season ago in free agency and the draft, but at least by re-signing Biermann Atlanta has provided itself with a serviceable safety net for Abraham's likely departure that didn't break the bank.