Big things were expected out of Calais Campbell last season.
After collecting seven sacks in 2009, the 6-food-8, 300 pound defensive end was expected to be an impact player for a defense that lost a couple in the offseason.
Instead, Campbell finished with just six sacks, playing 15 games in what could be described as an uneven season.
However, Pro Football Focus graded Campbell as one of the league’s better defensive lineman. You’d really never know it, though, and Campbell says it’s because he hasn’t earned a big contract yet.
“I always think recognition comes with contracts,” he said told the web site. “That’s what it is in my mind. Whenever someone gets a big contract, the media’s always watching him.”
Indeed, Campbell is still playing under the original contract he signed after being a second round pick from the University of Miami in 2008. That deal runs out after the 2011 season, though, meaning Campbell’s big payday — and the recognition that comes with it — could be on the way.
Provided, of course, he becomes the player the Cardinals expect him to be.