Background and college
Born May 6, 1978 in Timmonsville, South Carolina, Abraham attended Lamar High School in Lamar, South Carolina, where he was primarily an athlete in the track program, setting the current South Carolina record for the 200-meter dash. He played just one season of high school football but was nonetheless recruited to play at the University of South Carolina. While there, he amassed 23.5 sacks, ranking second on South Carolina's career list, and was named an all-SEC first-team player.
As a Jet
Abraham was taken by the Jets with the thirteenth overall pick of the 2000 NFL Draft, and made an immediate impact for the Jets; in his rookie season, he recorded 12 tackles and 4.5 sacks in only six games before being injured. In 2001, he recorded 82 tackles and 13 sacks, and was named to the AFC Pro Bowl. In 2002, he again recorded 82 tackles, with 10 sacks, and was again named to the Pro Bowl. However in the Wild Card game against the Raiders, Abraham got sick and had to leave the game. In 2003, he only recorded 37 tackles and six sacks, due to being injured mid-season. On October 1 2003, Abraham was arrested after his Hummer crashed into a light pole, and was chargewd with DWI. He was suspended for a game by Herman Edwards. In the 2004 season, Abraham recorded 10 sacks before sustaining a knee injury in December that kept him out for the rest of the season. The following year, the Jets tagged him as a franchise player to keep him with the team, but a contract holdout kept him from training camp; he ended up sigining a one-year contract with the Jets less than two weeks before the start of the season. Prior to the 2005 season he switched his jersey number from #94 to #56. He chose this number because it correspond to his birth date (5/6/1978), and because it was unavailable the seasons before, mainly because of Sam Cowart, who was traded to Minnesota earlier in the off-season. Abraham was once again franchised for the 2006 season, which would have led to a 1 year contract for $8.33 million, though Abraham indicated he no longer wished to play for the Jets. In his six seasons with the Jets, Abraham missed 23 games.
After the Jets
On March 21, 2006, the Jets completed a long-anticipated trade, trading Abraham to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for the 29th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, which the Falcons had acquired from the Denver Broncos in exchange for the 15th pick. The Falcons also received a pair of middle round selections in the trade. In his first season, Abraham missed half the season as a result of injury, but managed a full season in 2007.