There's really no other way to describe it. The Predator took less salary to come back to Atlanta.
According to ESPN's Pat Yasinskas, John Abraham didn't even come close to getting the $12 million he was supposedly asking for when free agency first rolled around. Instead, he took a deal that...
In fact, the three-year deal averages $5.573 million per season.
Abraham is going to make far less in each of the three seasons than the $8 million he made last season in the final year of his old deal.
Think about that for a second. His total cap number for 2012, which includes signing bonus and contract, will be just $4.4 million. He signed for a little over a third of his original contract demands. That's certainly less money than he could have gotten elsewhere, even as a part-time player at this stage of his career. Guys capable of 10 sacks don't grow on trees, after all.
So whatever you think of him, Thomas Dimitroff has done well here. The Falcons won't be on the hook for all that much money in exchange for at least two seasons of Abe, who remains the team's best and most consistent pass rusher. The fact that there are considerable bonuses to be had on a per-game basis means Abe, who never lacks for motivation in the first place, will probably want to crush his fair share of quarterbacks.
This is a good deal for a good player. I'm excited to see Abraham in action next season.