Former Cardinals ILB De’Vondre Campbell signs with Packers

Jun 9, 2021, 7:42 AM | Updated: 4:25 pm
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) tries to elude Arizona Cardinals outside lineback...

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) tries to elude Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Free agent linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, who spent 2020 with the Arizona Cardinals, signed with the Green Bay Packers on Monday.

The inside linebacker played his first four NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons before joining the Cardinals last year. He appeared in all 16 games for Arizona, finishing the year with 99 tackles, seven for loss, plus 2.0 sacks and three passes defensed.

A rangy linebacker, Campbell’s presence allowed the Cardinals to bring 2020 first-round draft pick Isaiah Simmons along slowly.

It also allowed fans to criticize Arizona for not utilizing the eighth overall pick. An ankle injury to Campbell allowed Simmons to see more time in the second half of the season.

Campbell played 100% of the defensive snaps six times in the first half of the season but only surpassed the 70% mark three times in the final eight games of 2020.

Long before the agreement between Campbell and the Packers, it appeared likely that the linebacker would depart after only a year with the Cardinals.

Arizona saw enough progress in Simmons’ development. He posted 54 tackles, 2.0 sacks, two passes defensed, an interception and a forced fumble. He made seven starts but was utilized all over the field — oftentimes alongside Campbell — dropping as a deep safety on some plays and rushing off the edge on others.

The Cardinals also drafted another inside linebacker, Zaven Collins, in the first round of the 2021 draft. Collins is expected to start at middle linebacker alongside Simmons, which pushes veteran Jordan Hicks likely out of the picture.

Hicks, the starting middle linebacker the past two seasons, has not appeared at offseason OTAs and reportedly has been allowed by Arizona to seek a trade.

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