The Arizona Cardinals struck gold on a couple of their late free agent signings last offseason. Karlos Dansby was huge and John Abraham proved to be a wise signing.
Abraham signed a two-year contract and ended up with 11.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.
Initially, it didn't look like he would make that much of an impact, as he did not have a sack in the team's first six games. It also happened to be that he was not getting a ton of playing time.
When he was signed, he was projected to be a situational pass rusher. He struggled a bit with the adjustment to that role, but later, because three outside linebackers -- Sam Acho, Lorenzo Alexander and Alex Okafor -- all ended up on injured reserve, Abraham became an every down player.
As he enters 2014 at age 36, he still wants to be that every player.
In an ESPN story by Josh Weinfuss, Abraham reiterated that he wants to be on the field and he knows it should be that way.
"I already know I'm pretty much the starter," Abraham said. "It'd look kinda stupid now to put me on the bench. I'm serious.
"If I'm still playing at my high standard, there's not a point in sitting me down."
He also has lofty goals -- 20 sacks. It is a number he has never reached (his career high is 16.5, which he achieved in 2008), but he believes that if you have to set a goal, "shoot high" like playing basketball and "don't bowl" (rolling the ball on the ground).
The Cardinals envision a two-year production of 20 sacks. He is well on his way for that. If Abraham can get his 20 in one year, then he would officially be the top bargain in all of football, as he will make $3 million in 2014.
Will he get that many? History says no, but anyone complain if he only got half that amount and got himself another 10 sacks? That's still performing at a high level.
If you add in the mentoring that he does in the locker room, which will help younger players like Okafor, Kareem Martin, Marcus Benard and even Sam Acho, even if this year is Abraham's last in Arizona, his impression can be felt for years to come.