Atlanta Falcons Ex John Abraham Accuses Tampa Bay Buccaneers of Bountygate 2.0

Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham made a bold claim about the 2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham accused the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of urging players to injure opponents.
Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham accused the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of urging players to injure opponents. /
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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons witnessed the New Orleans Saints' "Bountygate" situation unfold firsthand in 2009. Three years later, Falcons defensive end John Abraham saw it happen again.

In a recent appearance on "The Water Boyz Show," Abraham accused another NFC South foe - the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - of a separate story of Bountygate, the scandal in which the Saints were found guilty of intentionally targeting opposing players for injury.

“(Bucs offensive lineman Donald Penn) was like, ‘Hey man, be careful out here. The coaches told us to hurt you all,’” Abraham said, via JoeBucsFan.com. "I was like, ‘Stop playing.' He’s like, 'Nah, they told us to hurt y’all. So we’re going to be going extra. After the whistle, we’re going to be doing everything to try to mess with y’all.'"

Penn denied the story, but Abraham, who was hurt in the season finale against Tampa Bay after running into a teammate, stood by his comments.

Abraham is a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro who played for the Falcons from 2006-12, recording 68.5 sacks, 79 tackles for loss and 155 quarterback hits. He finished his 15-year professional career with 133.5 sacks, which puts him 13th in NFL history.

In 2012, the Falcons won the NFC South after going 13-3 but fell to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. The Buccaneers, conversely, slumped to a 7-9 record.

During the Week 17 matchup in which Abraham's accusations stem from, Atlanta suffered a 22-17 defeat. Abraham started both of the Falcons' playoff games after getting a bye week in the wildcard round.


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Daniel Flick

DANIEL FLICK

Daniel Flick is an accredited NFL writer for Sports Illustrated's FanNation. Daniel has provided boots-on-ground coverage at the NFL Combine and from the Atlanta Falcons' headquarters, among other destinations, and contributed to the annual Lindy's Sports Magazine ahead of the 2023 offseason. Daniel is a co-host on the 404TheFalcon podcast and previously wrote for the Around the Block Network and Georgia Sports Hospitality Media.