Jonathan Abraham Busted For DUI
Arizona Cardinals star pass rushing specialist Jonathan Abraham was reportedly arrested for a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) last month. The news only surfaced now of Abrahams June 29th slip up, and is looked at as a good reason why he has yet to show up to the team’s training camp.
It’s only Abraham’s second such offense since 2003 (when he was with the New York Jets), but he could still face potential discipline from the league, or even the Cardinals. It generally takes the league a while to resolve legal matters, however, so the 36-year old doesn’t appear to be in inherent danger for the 2014 NFL season.
That’s the bright side for the aging pass rushing specialist, who was surprisingly very productive for Arizona’s 3-4 defense a year ago. A career defensive end, Abraham latched on with the Cardinals last year and slid in as a 3-4 outside linebacker, which wasn’t anywhere near his comfort zone. Abraham really didn’t miss a beat, though, registering 11.5 sacks, 37 tackles and four forced fumbles in 16 games.
Despite a fairly advanced age for a top-level pass rusher, Abraham arguably hasn’t lost much, as he’s appeared in at least 15 games for his NFL teams for the past seven consecutive seasons, while notching at least 9.5 sacks six times during that span.
Arizona needs Abraham to remain at the top of his game, as the defense has already dealt with some extreme issues off the field. For one, Abraham is far and away the Cards’ best pass rusher on the outside, as the aging veteran brings much more to the table than backups Sam Acho, Marcus Benard and Alex Okafor. Fellow starter Matt Shaughnessy isn’t anywhere near the pass rusher Abraham is, but has displayed a solid, versatile skill-set to deem him worthy of a starting spot.
The other issue in Arizona concerning the defense is merely player availability. Superstar inside linebacker Daryl Washington has run into legal issues of his own, and will miss the entire 2014 NFL season thanks to abusing the league’s substance abuse policy. Stud safety Tyrann Mathieu didn’t do anything wrong, but he’s also on the shelf for now, as he continues to make his way back to full health from a torn ACL.
Arizona’s defense is barely standing at the moment, and needs all the healthy, competent bodies it can get. Getting a veteran presence in Abraham back into camp will go a long way an aggressive, gritty defense getting back to where it was a year ago.
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