NFL.com: Calais Campbell headlines group of veteran free agents
For the longest time people seemed to understand it was possible, yet even still the concept is somewhat difficult to imagine.
On March 9, or in the days following, Calais Campbell could sign with a team that is not the Arizona Cardinals.
The defensive lineman who was chosen in the second round of the 2008 draft has been a fixture along the team’s defensive line since 2009, and is currently second on the franchise’s all-time sacks list with 56.5.
Eight of Campbell’s sacks came in 2016, and in a season that saw the Cardinals fall short of expectations, Campbell once again proved he is an impact player.
Because of that, and other reasons, NFL.com’s Adam Schein put the two-time Pro Bowler at the top of his list of veteran free agents who can help a team.
Campbell, who’ll turn 31 just before the start of next season, is still a strong and versatile player, as well as a team leader. He’s been a rock for the always-stout Cardinals defense and a gem in the locker room, on the practice field and in the community, as well. Campbell is still a fine defensive lineman who can play (and has played) in all defensive schemes.
The 6-foot-8, 300-pounder posted his typical production in 2016: 53 tackles, eight sacks, six pass deflections, two forced fumbles and even a pick. With his hulking size and powerful game, Campbell’s a problem for opposing offenses. Honestly, he’s one of my favorite players in the league.
Campbell would shore up a lot of problems on the Broncos’ defense. He also makes a ton of sense for the Falcons, Cowboys, Saints, Lions and Patriots, if he does indeed leave the Cardinals.
The Cardinals have expressed a desire to have Campbell return, and likewise Campbell himself has talked about wanting to remain in Arizona. However, with roughly $17 million of salary cap room available and plenty of holes to fill, it seems somewhat unlikely the sides will be able to come to an agreement unless the player takes significantly less money than he will be offered elsewhere.
If Campbell does leave Arizona, he will finish his time in the desert with 541 tackles, 56.5 sacks, three interceptions, 42 passes defensed, eight fumble recoveries and seven forced fumbles.