ARIZONA CARDINALS

Report: In the end, Calais Campbell picks Jaguars over Broncos

Mar 8, 2017, 7:22 PM | Updated: Mar 9, 2017, 5:25 pm
Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell (93) celebrates a defensive stop against the Green ...
Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell (93) celebrates a defensive stop against the Green Bay Packers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell is expected to leave the only NFL team he’s known to play for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Reports Wednesday night said the nine-year veteran would likely become a Jaguar but then his hometown Denver Broncos entered the mix early Thursday.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported via Twitter that Campbell could take less money to go back to his birthplace of Denver.

A tweet from Josina Anderson of ESPN said Campbell wrote in a text, “Chose (Jaguars) because Tom Coughlin is a winner, they brought in two other big free agents and they also have been drafting well the last few years. They are a young and hungry defense that I want to lead.”

Campbell won’t be the only loss to the Cardinals’ defensive unit. Safety Tony Jefferson decided to sign with the Baltimore Ravens after four NFL seasons in the desert.

Arizona drafted Campbell with its second-round pick (50th overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft, and the defensive end spent the next nine seasons with the Cardinals, twice going to the Pro Bowl (2014-15) and twice earning Second-Team All-Pro honors (2014, 2016).

The 30-year-old, approaching what will be his third NFL contract, continued to produce in 2016, making 53 total tackles to go with eight sacks, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception. That production had Pro Football Focus name Campbell as the second highest-graded interior defensive lineman this season.

And that ended up setting Campbell up for what looks to be another big payday — one the Cardinals weren’t willing to offer with other priorities in free agency.

The Cardinals entered March with safety Tony Jefferson, cornerback Marcus Cooper, safety D.J. Swearinger, tackle Frostee Rucker, and linebackers Alex Okafor, Kevin Minter and Sio Moore as free agents on the defensive side of the ball.

Additionally, the team used its franchise tag on linebacker Chandler Jones, a move that they had previously used on Campbell before he signed his last contract in 2012.

Campbell’s Cardinals career ends after he recorded 501 tackles, 56.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles, eight fumble recovering and three interceptions in 138 career games with Arizona.

Life Changer Loans

Arizona Cardinals

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) greets San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Sha...
Tom Kuebel

Kliff Kingsbury lends support for 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan in hat ‘beef’

Kliff Kingsbury tendered support for San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in his ongoing hat drama with the NFL.
17 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Ward (29) celebrates his touchdown against the Cincinnati B...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner: Arizona standouts aplenty in win over Bengals

Arizona Sports' Cardinals reporter Tyler Drake and 98.7 FM's Erik Ruby give their top standouts in the team's 36-23 win over the Bengals.
17 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, left, talks with quarterback Kyler Murray during the ...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury ‘impressed’ with Kyler Murray’s play-calling

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury handed over play-calling duties to QB Kyler Murray in the team's 36-23 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
2 days ago
(Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)...
Tyler Drake

Victor Dimukeje, Trace McSorley pace Arizona Cardinals in rout of Bengals

Arizona Cardinals OLB Victor Dimukeje and QB Trace McSorley made the most of their opportunities in Friday's win over the Bengals.
17 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Trace McSorley looks for a receiver during the team's NFL football pr...
Kellan Olson

Trace McSorley throws TD in 1st preseason drive, Cardinals beat Bengals

The Arizona Cardinals' first series of the preseason was a positive one and they never looked back from there to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.
2 days ago
Greg Dortch #83 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a catch while being tackled by Bookie Radley-Hiles #...
Kellan Olson

Greg Dortch keeps making plays for Cardinals with great grab, long return

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Greg Dortch has made big catches all camp long and he kept it going in his first preseason game this year.
2 days ago
Report: In the end, Calais Campbell picks Jaguars over Broncos