January 12, 2015

Highlighted Year: Donnie Abraham, 1999

Cornerback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Age: 26 (Oct. 8)
4th season in pro football & with Buccaneers
College: East Tennessee State
Height: 5’10” Weight: 181

Abraham was chosen by the Buccaneers in the third round of the 1996 NFL draft and moved quickly into the starting lineup as a rookie, intercepting five passes and showing great savvy at the cornerback position. He intercepted another five passes in ’97 but, after starting 34 straight games, Abraham missed three with a knee injury in 1998.

1999 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Interceptions – 7 [1, tied with four others]
Most interceptions, game – 2 vs. Atlanta 11/21, vs. Minnesota 12/6
Int. return yards – 115 [11, tied with Tony Blevins]
Most int. return yards, game – 55 (on 2 int.) vs. Minnesota 12/6
Int. TDs – 2 [1, tied with six others]
Sacks – 2
Most sacks, game – 1 vs. Kansas City 11/14, vs. Minnesota 12/6
Fumble recoveries – 0
Tackles – 65
Assists – 14

TDs – 2
Points – 12

Postseason: 2 G
Interceptions – 0
TDs – 0

Buccaneers went 11-5 to finish first in the NFC Central while leading the NFL in fewest touchdowns allowed (19) and the conference in fewest total yards allowed (4280), fewest passing yards allowed (2873), and fewest points allowed (235). Won NFC Divisional playoff over Washington Redskins (14-13). Lost NFC Championship game to St. Louis Rams (11-6).

Abraham followed up in 2000 with another seven interceptions and gained selection to the Pro Bowl. An excellent fit in Tampa Bay’s cover-two defensive scheme, he was capable on pass coverage and made up in technique and skill what he lacked in speed. Still, he lost his starting job to Brian Kelly in 2001 and was released after the season for salary cap reasons after having intercepted 31 passes in six years with the Bucs. He moved on to the New York Jets in 2002 and played well in a similar defense, but missed eight weeks in ’03 due to a shoulder injury. Following one last season with the Jets in 2004, Abraham retired. Overall, he intercepted 38 passes, returning them for 468 yards and three touchdowns, and was named to the Pro Bowl once.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970