Retirement On Table For Calais Campbell

Calais Campbell has provided a considerable boost to the Ravens’ defense over the past two seasons, running his string of post-30 Pro Bowl nods to four last year. But he is unsigned beyond 2021 and plans to take some time during the 2022 offseason to examine his future.

The 14-year veteran is expected to “strongly” consider retirement at season’s end, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Campbell is still playing at an elite level, slotting as Pro Football Focus’ No. 4 overall interior defender, but he has logged extensive time in the pros.

While a Campbell retirement or free agency exit would leave a void on Baltimore’s defensive line, the former Cardinals and Jaguars standout is 35 and has played 222 career games — counting 14 playoff outings. That is fifth among defensive linemen in the 21st century. Given his role as a 3-4 defensive end, the ex-Miami Hurricane does not fit the profile of a player who could tack additional years onto his career as a situational edge rusher.

Campbell missed time last season because of a calf strain and a positive COVID-19 test. The six-time Pro Bowler, however, has not missed a game this year to help a Baltimore defense that will not have Derek Wolfe‘s services throughout the season. Campbell’s most recent blocked field goal kept a Ravens comeback win over the Colts in play last month. He certainly stands to play a key role in the Ravens’ latest push for the AFC North title.

Campbell has not been a free agent since signing a big-ticket deal with the Jaguars in 2017. That agreement played a major role in Jacksonville making a surprise run to that year’s AFC championship game. Despite not being honored as a Pro Bowler in his first six seasons, the 6-foot-8 defender has been named to the NFL’s all-star game in six of the past seven seasons. Campbell considering stepping away from the game would be a key offseason storyline.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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