Calais Campbell

NFC South Notes: Campbell, Maye, Sanders

Defensive lineman Calais Campbell has accomplished a great deal in his NFL career, though he has never won a Super Bowl ring. So it came as something of a surprise when the six-time Pro Bowler, who is entering his age-37 season, agreed to sign with the Falcons in March after the Ravens made him a cap casualty. After all, Atlanta has not made the playoffs since 2018 and will be starting Desmond Ridder — a 2022 third-round choice who made just four starts in his rookie campaign — at quarterback.

Still, when this offseason arrived, the Falcons had free agency money to spend for the first time in the Terry Fontenot/Arthur Smith era, and they have been especially aggressive in bolstering their defense. Jessie Bates, Mike Hughes, Kaden Elliss, and David Onyemata were signed, and as Mike Rothstein of writes, adding those talents and a player like Campbell supports the message that Fontenot and Smith want to convey: that Atlanta is ready to compete and is a prime destination for high-end talent.

Campbell acknowledged that the uncertainty of the NFC South played a role in his decision (Twitter link via Rothstein), and he believes that the Falcons will indeed contend for a playoff spot in 2023. He spoke glowingly of his meetings with Smith, Fontenot, and new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen, and he also watched tape of Ridder. All of that turned the Falcons from a team that was not on Campbell’s radar into the team for which he eschewed an extended free agency courtship.

Now for more from the NFC South, starting with several more items on Campbell and the Falcons:

  • Campbell said that more teams were interested in his services in 2023 than during his free agency stay in 2022, which ultimately concluded with a new deal with Baltimore. He also said he was “close” to signing with another club this year before agreeing to terms with the Falcons, though that mystery team did not make him feel the same way Atlanta did. In addition to his meetings with the Jaguars and Falcons, he had visits with the Jets and Bills on the docket, and he told CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson during an episode of The Crew podcast that Aaron Rodgers — who is expected to join the Jets in the near future — texted him and implored him to sign with Gang Green (Twitter link via Ari Meirov of
  • As Campbell explained in the above-referenced podcast, the Jets tried to get a deal done with him even before his would-be visit with New York, so perhaps they were the team that he nearly picked over the Falcons. And, per Rothstein, another factor that worked in the Falcons’ favor is that Atlanta plans to use him as a “true D-end,” meaning that he will line up on the edge on first and second downs.
  • Saints safety Marcus Maye was arrested in September on a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm. As Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk wrote last month, those charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence. As most NFL fans know by now, the absence of criminal charges does not mean that a player will avoid league punishment, but since the time of Williams’ report, nothing has emerged on that front.
  • Running back Miles Sanders signed a four-year, $25MM contract with the Panthers in March, a deal that features $13MM in guaranteed money. Sanders indicated that the presence of Duce Staley, whom Carolina recently hired as its assistant head coach & running backs coach, was a big reason for his decision to join the Panthers (Twitter link via ESPN’s David Newton). Sanders spent the first four years of his career (2019-22) with the Eagles, and Staley was Philadelphia’s assistant head coach and running backs coach for the first two of those seasons.

Contract Notes: Jaguars, Singletary, Packers

The Jaguars reworked safety Rayshawn Jenkins‘ contract earlier this week, creating a chunk of cap space. Per Jason Fitzgerald of, the team converted more than $6.4MM of Jenkins’ salary into a signing bonus and added three void years to the contract. As a result, the team dropped the defensive back’s cap number from $10.5MM to $5.3MM, thus opening more than $5MM in cap space.

Jenkins’ 2024 cap number will rise by more than $1MM. In the event the Jaguars eventually move on from the player, they’ll be left with a dead cap hit of $5.1MM in 2024 or $3.85MM in 2025.

We’ve collected more contract notes below:

  • Calais Campbell‘s one-year, $7MM deal with the Falcons includes a $4MM guaranteed salary and a $3MM signing bonus, per Aaron Wilson of (via Twitter). He can earn another $2MM via incentives, including marks for sacks and playing time. According to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein (on Twitter), $500K of Campbell’s incentives are likely to be earned.
  • Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins inked a one-year, $1.16MM deal with the Cowboys that also includes an $152K signing bonus, per Wilson (on Twitter). After starting 116 of his 117 appearances between 2014 and 2021, Hankins only started four of his 10 appearances for the Raiders and Cowboys last season.
  • Running back Devin Singletary‘s new deal with the Texans includes up to $1MM in incentives, per Wilson (on Twitter). Half of those bonuses come via playing time incentives, and he can earn another $500K for certain statistical milestones above 1,000 yards from scrimmage.
  • Dallin Leavitt’s one-year contract with the Packers is worth $1.4MM, including a $1.08MM base salary, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky (on Twitter). He can earn up to $170K in roster bonuses, all via $10K per-game roster incentives. Demovsky also passes along that Justin Hollins got an $155K signing bonus and $45K workout bonuses from the Packers, while Eric Wilson got an $152K signing bonus.
  • Defensive lineman Carlos Watkins got a one-year, $1.67MM deal from the Cardinals, according to Howard Balzer (on Twitter). This includes a $250K signing bonus, an $1.08MM signing bonus, and up to $340K in per-game roster bonuses. That all results in an $1.57MM cap hit.
  • Jordan Phillips‘ contract with the Bills is for one year worth $3MM, per Ryan O’Halloran of The Buffalo News (on Twitter). He’ll earn $1.22MM in guaranteed money, and he can earn up to $4.6MM thanks to incentives.

Falcons Sign DL Calais Campbell

MARCH 31: The Falcons will give the 16th-year veteran $7MM fully guaranteed, Rapoport tweets. This deal can max out at $9MM through incentives. Although Campbell is going into his age-37 season, he will receive more to sign compared to what the Ravens gave him in 2022. Baltimore’s most recent Campbell pact was a two-year, $12MM deal that featured $6MM guaranteed.

MARCH 29: Following his Falcons meeting, Calais Campbell engaged in discussions with other teams. But the veteran defensive lineman will end up in Atlanta. The Falcons agreed to terms with Campbell on a one-year deal Wednesday morning, Ian Rapoport of reports (on Twitter).

The Ravens made Campbell a cap casualty ahead of free agency, and while the sides did not rule out a return at a reduced rate, the 15-year veteran generated interest from the Bills, Jets and Jaguars. Despite those teams’ 2023 contention prospects appearing to outflank the Falcons’, Campbell agreed to join the retooling defense.

The former Walter Payton Man of the Year award winner spoke at length with Arthur Blank before making his decision, and Rapoport adds discussions regarding leadership and Campbell’s potential impact in the community played a significant role in his agreement with the team (Twitter link). The Jets made a strong offer, Campbell said (via CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson, on Twitter), but the accomplished pass rusher alluded to the off-field component of an Atlanta agreement — along with the on-field fit, naturally — as a factor that drove this agreement past the goal line.

This will be Campbell’s fourth NFL destination, coming after productive stints in Arizona, Jacksonville and Baltimore. On the field, the 6-foot-8 defender will team with Grady Jarrett and ex-Ryan Nielsen Saints charge David Onyemata. The Falcons have added a few pieces on defense since the legal tampering period began. Campbell joins Onyemata, Jessie Bates and Mike Hughes in agreeing to terms to aid a defense that ranked 27th last season. Longtime Bears starter Eddie Goldman is also back in the fold, preparing to make an attempt to come out of retirement.

Campbell, who will turn 37 before Week 1, started all 14 games be played for the Ravens last season. The interior D-line standout/kick-blocking specialist totaled 5.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hits in 2022. It will certainly be interesting to see how the Falcons use their talent influx up front in 2023. The team struggled to generate pressure last season, recording just 21 sacks. Jarrett contributed six of those.

For his career, Campbell is sitting on 99 sacks. He registered 14.5 of those with the Jaguars in 2017, helping to drive a rebuilding team to the Super Bowl LII precipice to complete one of the more impactful seasons by a defensive free agency addition. Campbell earned first-team All-Pro honors after his first Jaguars season, which ended in the AFC championship game. The ex-Cardinals second-round pick has continued to churn out quality seasons into his mid-30s. The Denver native has added three more Pro Bowl invites since leading the “Sacksonville” defense.

The Jets would have paired Campbell with Quinnen Williams inside. The team, which is gearing up for a potential Super Bowl push around expected trade acquisition Aaron Rodgers, has added some pieces — including ex-Ravens safety Chuck Clark — this offseason. But New York lost D-tackles Sheldon Rankins (Texans) and Nathan Shepherd (Saints). Solomon Thomas is back in the fold, however.

Campbell, who has never missed more than four games in a season, continuing his run of durability in Atlanta would move him further into rarefied air among defensive linemen. His 208 career starts are tied with Rams icon Merlin Olsen for eighth-most by a D-lineman in NFL history. By starting nine more games, Campbell can climb into the top five in league annals at the position. He can pass Olsen, fellow Hall of Famers Alan Page and Carl Eller, along with Justin Smith and Kevin Carter, by making 12 starts in 2023.

NFL Workout Notes: Giants, Campbell, Edwards, Neal, Carter, Fluker

As the initial surge of free agency has died down a bit, there are still several assets available on the market. The Giants have been fairly active in free agency and have had quite a few free agents visit for evaluations.

After allowing starting center Jon Feliciano to depart for San Francisco in free agency, the team decided to kick the tires on center J.C. Hassenauer, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN. The former Steeler has some starting experience and would add some depth and competition behind Ben Bredeson.

The team also decided to check out a potential depth piece for the secondary in former Vikings cornerback Kris Boyd, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News in Minnesota. Boyd was able to provide some defensive depth as a seventh-round draft pick out of Texas for the Vikings, but his true value in Minnesota came on special teams, an added benefit that should help him find a roster spot moving forward.

If you thought the Giants had enough receivers, they clearly don’t agree as they reportedly hosted former Raiders and Falcons wideout Bryan Edwards, according to Jordan Schultz of theScore. Edwards barely played last year after getting traded to Atlanta and signing to the Chiefs’ practice squad, but he gets a chance to compete for serious snaps in New York. The Giants have a bevy of wide receivers but lack any sure-handed starters. The team returns Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, Wan’Dale Robinson, Sterling Shepard, David Sills, and Collin Johson but has added Parris Campbell, Jamison Crowder, and Jeff Smith in free agency. It looks like a collection of strong No. 3 and 4 receivers that lacks the talent of a strong No. 1 or 2. This provides Edwards a window to perform well and earn playing time.

Lastly, according to ESPN’s Field Yates, the team hosted linebacker Justin Hollins, who started five games for the Rams last year. Hollins would be another potential depth piece for the Giants’ defense.

Here are a few other workout rumors from around the league:

  • After getting released by the Ravens for cap purposes, the former “Mayor of Sacksonville” could be poised for a return to the Jaguars. According to Demetrius Harvey of the Florida Times-Union, defensive lineman Calais Campbell visited his former team this past week. After an earlier visit with the Falcons, the veteran also has future visits planned with the Bills and Jets, according to Tiffany Blackmon of 92.9 The Game.
  • The Seahawks may be looking to replace some defensive line depth after losing defensive end L.J. Collier to free agency. Seattle hosted veteran defensive end Mario Edwards earlier this week, according to Yates. Edwards is looking to join potentially his sixth franchise since entering the league. He started seven games for the Titans last year.
  • After losing safety Marcus Epps to free agency, the Eagles continue to look at safety options. Philadelphia hosted safety Keanu Neal earlier this week, according to Yates. Unfortunately for Neal, the team signed former Steelers first-round pick Terrell Edmunds yesterday, adding him to the addition of Justin Evans. Neal has experience playing linebacker, though, which may afford him an additional chance to make a roster as free agency continues.
  • While the wide receiver waters have been fairly stagnant, former Chargers wideout DeAndre Carter‘s market is starting to heat up. After a career year, the 29-year-old visited the Raiders yesterday, according to Schultz. The Raiders have added Jakobi Meyers, Phillip Dorsett, and Steven Sims after losing Mack Hollins. Carter would likely be competing for WR3 snaps behind Davante Adams and Meyers.
  • Offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, who last appeared in an NFL game in 2020 with the Ravens, is seeking a return to the NFL. Fluker spent 2021 on three different teams’ practice squads, but after getting released from the Jaguars’ on New Year’s Eve 2021, he has remained a free agent for over a year. According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, Fluker worked out at Alabama’s pro day this year with top prospects Bryce Young and Will Anderson. The workout drew some attention from NFL teams and could help Fluker make it back to the league.

Calais Campbell To Meet With Falcons

Linked again to retirement, Calais Campbell said earlier this offseason he will play a 16th NFL season. After the Ravens released the accomplished defensive lineman, he could need to find a fourth team.

The Falcons will display their interest via a free agent visit, Mike Garafolo of tweets. The Ravens have not closed the door on Campbell coming back at a reduced rate, but the former Cardinals and Jaguars defensive lineman will go forward with a Falcons meeting.

Campbell, who will turn 37 just before Week 1, spent the past three seasons with the Ravens and has continued to produce despite being one of the league’s oldest players. The 2008 second-rounder totaled 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles for the Ravens last season, remaining a D-line regular. Campbell started all 14 games he played and has seen action on more than 60% of Baltimore’s defensive plays in each of the past two seasons.

The Jaguars’ Campbell signing in 2017 became one of the most impactful defensive free agency additions in recent years, with the former Cardinals starter/kick-blocking extraordinaire earning All-Pro honors — after a 14.5-sack season — and powering the Jags’ defense to the top of the league. Jacksonville gave New England a scare in that year’s AFC championship game, but the team steadily dismantled that “Sacksonville” defense. That effort led Campbell to Baltimore in 2020.

Campbell coming back for the 2023 season will move him further into rarefied air among defensive linemen. The durable Denver native is currently tied with Rams icon Merlin Olsen for eighth all time for starts by a defensive lineman (208). By starting just nine more games, Campbell can climb into the top five in NFL history at the position. He can pass Olsen, fellow Hall of Famers Alan Page and Carl Eller, along with Justin Smith and Kevin Carter, by making 12 starts this season. A 12-start 2023 would leave Campbell fourth in NFL annals. Campbell also has 99 career sacks; more seasons will drive an increasingly valid Hall of Fame case.

Atlanta has been busy in bolstering its defense this offseason. New DC Ryan Nielsen brought two Saints — defensive tackle David Onyemata and linebacker Kaden Elliss — with him to Georgia. Cornerback Mike Hughes joined high-priced safety Jessie Bates as secondary additions as well. And the team received word D-tackle Eddie Goldman will also be attempting a comeback. Goldman signed with the Falcons last summer but landed on their reserve/retired list soon after. The team has Grady Jarrett coming back for a ninth season anchoring its interior D-line as well.

Campbell has said he wants to land with a contender. Having played in Super Bowl XLIII (a Cardinals loss to the Steelers) and three conference championship games, that makes sense. The Falcons do not resemble a surefire contender presently, given their quarterback situation and sub-.500 showings in 2021 and ’22, but Arthur Smith and GM Terry Fontenot are going into their third years. The organization will be more committed to producing a winning team next season. Campbell would certainly be an interesting piece to this puzzle.

Ravens Release DE Calais Campbell

During Super Bowl weekend, Calais Campbell confirmed that he would play in the 2023 season. It was expected that he would do with the Ravens, but it appears that might not be the case. Baltimore announced on Monday that the veteran defensive end has been released.

The 36-year-old has been in Baltimore since 2020, and been a key starter in the defensive line rotation. He has flirted with the possibility of retirement in recent years, but made it official last month that he would continue his storied career at least one more season. He had one year remaining on his existing contract, leading to the belief that the Ravens would keep him in the fold, albeit at a reduced rate if possible.

Campbell was due to account for more than $9MM on the cap this season, a relatively steep figure given his reduced production and the team’s financial situation with Lamar Jackson set to take on a larger portion of their cap commitments on the franchise tag or a long-term deal. Cutting Campbell will result in $7MM in cap savings.

The six-time Pro Bowler has started 40 of his 41 games in Baltimore, seeing a consistent snap share of 64% and 62% over the past two seasons. He had a resurgent season from a pass-rushing perspective in 2022, registering 5.5 sacks. Those numbers could help him earn a new contract with the Ravens or any number of other teams, particularly on a short-term deal.

“Calais defines what it is to be a Raven,” general manager Eric DeCosata said in a statement“He personifies professionalism, and his contributions to our organization – both on and off the field – are immense… While this is the worst part of the business, we have not closed the door on the possibility of him returning to our team in the future.”

The Ravens have recent draftees Justin Madubuike, Broderick Washington and Travis Jones in place on the interior of their d-line. Veteran Michael Pierce will also play in 2023 after he agreed to reduce his cap number this year. Campbell would be welcomed back in at least a rotational role by the Ravens, who will have a number of other offseason priorities even if they are able to bring him back.

Ravens’ Calais Campbell To Return In 2023

Much of the build-up to today’s Super Bowl has obviously been focused on the Eagles and Chiefs. However, an important piece of news emerged on another front today.

While taking part in NFL Network’s pre-game coverage, Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell confirmed that he will continue his career in 2023 (video link). The news sets Campbell up for his 16th season in the NFL, and his fourth in Baltimore. It also puts to rest another offseason’s worth of speculation regarding his playing future.

“I know I’ve got this year in me,” Campbell said this past August when asked about his career plans. “I don’t know if there’s anything left after that, but I’m going to leave it all on the field. Empty the tank. And when it’s all said and done, after this year, I’ll reconvene in the offseason to see where I’m at.”

The 36-year-old contemplated hanging up his cleats prior to signing a two-year deal last spring. As a result of that pact, Campbell is on the books for the 2023 campaign with a salary of $4.5MM but a cap hit of just over $9.4MM. The Ravens would save $7MM in cap space by releasing the six-time Pro Bowler, but his production would be difficult to replace in that event.

Campbell enjoyed a resurgent season in terms of pass rush in 2022. The former All-Pro notched 5.5 sacks, his highest figure during his time in Baltimore to date. He added 36 stops and a pair of forced fumbles while maintaining a starting role on the team’s defensive line. The Ravens’ front primarily consists of recent draftees such as Justin Madubuike, Broderick Washington and Travis Jones, but Campbell has remained a key figure amongst that group.

As a result, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic predicts the Ravens will attempt to keep Campbell by re-working his existing contract (Twitter link). Baltimore is in better cap shape than most teams at the moment, but their financial situation will hinge almost entirely on the fate of quarterback Lamar Jackson. The latter’s future remains uncertain, but Campbell’s will entail at least one more NFL campaign.

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Lamar, Steelers

In a press conference this past Thursday, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta spoke to the future of several Ravens players as the team heads into the offseason. Although the free agency of quarterback Lamar Jackson is obviously the main headline of Baltimore’s offseason, DeCosta still has plenty on his plate from key free agents like cornerback Marcus Peters and offensive guard Ben Powers to veterans flirting with retirement like defensive tackle Calais Campbell.

Peters is headed towards free agency this offseason after three seasons in Baltimore. The Ravens have been fairly top-heavy at the cornerback position in the past few years with Peters and Marlon Humphrey. They invested some draft capital in the position last year, selecting rookies Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams, but due to experience and injuries, they were still forced to rely on contributions from the likes of Daryl Worley and Kevon Seymour. The team signed free agent Kyle Fuller in the offseason, but a Week 1 knee injury knocked him out for the year. DeCosta hinted that the team will continue to try and add more talent at cornerback regardless of whether or not they are able to re-sign Peters.

Powers continued his play this year as a full-time starter and had his best NFL season in a contract year. He may follow the likes of former Ravens’ linemen like Ryan Jensen and Kelechi Osemele, who priced themselves out of a new contract in Baltimore in the past.

The Ravens were able to sign trade acquisition Roquan Smith to a long-term deal and now are faced with the contract situation of fellow linebacker Patrick Queen. Queen’s play elevated substantially while playing alongside Smith and has the Ravens considering his future going into this offseason. DeCosta said he isn’t ready to announce that they will pick up Queen’s fifth-year option, but he made sure to clarify that Smith’s contract won’t preclude them from signing Queen long-term.

Lastly, the Ravens have two esteemed veterans that could consider hanging up their cleats. Campbell mulled retirement last season and will likely kick the idea around a bit once again this offseason. Pass rusher Justin Houston is under contract for another season but could potentially call it a career. He stated recently that he does intend to keep playing, and both athletes met with DeCosta before leaving town for the offseason.

Here are a few more rumors from around the AFC North, starting with the main storyline for the offseason in Charm City:

  • Ryan Clark referenced a debate on ESPN’s first take recently about the details of offers made to Jackson. A source provided knowledge that the Ravens’ initial offer had $113MM in guaranteed money and that offer was eventually upped to $133MM. That guaranteed amount doesn’t come anywhere close to Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson‘s $230MM guaranteed contract, but the second offer would be the most guaranteed money to any quarterback in the NFL besides Watson.
  • The Steelers’ coaching staff is set to undergo some changes this offseason. According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, one coach on his way out is assistant wide receivers coach Blaine Stewart who is set to join the staff at West Virginia University. Stewart’s father, Bill, served as head coach of the Mountaineers from 2008-10.
  • The Buccaneers parted ways with offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich at the end of this season. The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly speculated that, unless Leftwich finds work elsewhere as an offensive play caller, the former Steelers quarterback could find a role as an offensive assistant on Mike Tomlin‘s staff. Kaboly posits that a role as senior offensive assistant/passing-game coordinator could be in play for Leftwich. Leftwich would essentially be a coordinator-in-waiting as current offensive coordinator Matt Canada is in the final year of his contract.

AFC Rumors: Ravens, Collins, Bengals, Henry

Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell missed Sunday’sgame against the Falcons as he continues to deal with a knee injury suffered a week prior in the team’s loss to Cleveland, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Yesterday’s absence was only his second of the season, an impressive showing for the 36-year-old who has showed a consistent sturdiness for his entire career.

The wording of Fowler’s tweet was a bit unclear. He stated that “Campbell could miss some time” due to the injury, which could be interpreted as a potential extended absence for the defensive leader. Fowler’s tweet, which came earlier this week, also questioned the status of this week’s game against the Falcons, indicating that perhaps the uncertainty of “could miss some time” was not pointed towards how much time he may miss but if he would miss time at all. Regardless, Campbell sat out Saturday’s game and, after the team clinched a playoff spot with a win, he may be able to take a little extra time to rest up for a postseason run.

The team also played without rookie outside linebacker David Ojabo yesterday. Nine months after a torn Achilles injury, Ojabo finally made his NFL debut against the Browns last week, playing one defensive snap and four special teams snaps. He wasn’t listed on the team’s injury report, but whatever Ojabo is dealing with, he returned back to the inactive list this week.

Here are a few other injury rumors from around the AFC, starting with two division rival players in Cincinatti:

  • Bengals tackle La’el Collins left Saturday’s win over the Patriots with a knee injury, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Reportedly, initial concerns were about an ACL injury, but the ligament is believed to be intact. The new understanding is that Collins’ kneecap shifted out and then back into place, resulting in the significant pain that required him to leave the game. More tests will follow to determine the severity of Collins’ knee injury.
  • Bengals pass rusher Trey Hendrickson started yesterday for the Cincinnati defense despite his broken wrist and likely plans to continue to start for the remainder of the season, according to Paul Dehner of The Athletic. Hendrickson reportedly confirmed that his wrist is broken but explained that “multiple doctors” told him that the injury cannot worsen. He has the ability to play through the injury with no need of a club; he will have full hand and finger mobility. As long as Hendrickson can manage and play through the pain, he will be able to continue contributing to the AFC North leaders.
  • Patriots tight end Hunter Henry left Saturday’s loss with a knee injury after only one drive, according to the team’s official Twitter account. Henry was unable to contribute to the box score before leaving. Henry, who has dealt with multiple knee injuries over his career, is considered day-to-day and will undergo further tests this week. If Henry misses any time, veteran tight end Jonnu Smith would be the next man in line for snaps. Unfortunately, Smith exited yesterday’s game with a concussion, so he, too, will have some work to do to play next week. If neither player can go when the team hosts the Dolphins next week, New England may have to turn to practice squad receiver Scotty Washington who is sometimes listed at tight end, as well.

Ravens DL Calais Campbell Hints At Retirement After 2022

After flirting with the idea of retirement late last season, Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell decided to return for a 15th season back in April. This season, the 35-year-old didn’t wait for the end of the year to start up the retirement talk once again, according to Nick Shook of NFL Network. 

“I know I’ve got this year in me,” Campbell said about his future in the league. “I don’t know if there’s anything left after that, but I’m going to leave it all on the field. Empty the tank. And when it’s all said and done, after this year, I’ll reconvene in the offseason to see where I’m at.

“But, right now, I’m preparing like this is my last year. So, I’m going to give it everything I have.”

The six-time Pro Bowler, 2017 All-Pro, 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year, and second-place finisher for the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year award has seen much of his success come as a veteran. Through his first six years in the league with the Cardinals, Campbell totaled a not unimpressive 36.5 sacks, 63.0 tackles for loss, and 72 quarterback hits. But his next six seasons (three in Arizona and three in Jacksonville) saw him rack up 51.5 sacks, 88.0 tackles for loss, and 129 quarterback hits, along with all the accolades at the top of the paragraph, minus one Pro Bowl earned in 2020.

None of this to diminish his early success in the NFL, the point to draw from those statistics is that age is just a number to Campbell. He has seen his returns diminish a bit over his two years in Baltimore, but Campbell refuses to disappear. Campbell showed flashes of his usual brilliance in Week 6 of 2020, when he won AFC Defensive Player of the Week for recording 4.0 tackles for loss, four quarterback hits, and 3.0 sacks on then-Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, and in Week 5 of 2021 when he fueled a Ravens’ comeback victory by blocking a Rodrigo Blankenship field goal attempt while down eight points late in the fourth quarter.

If we’re to take Campbell’s words seriously, that he plans to “empty the tank,” there’s no reason to believe he can’t reach the levels of success he saw that helped to birth the moniker of “Sacksonville” during his time with the Jaguars. We’ve seen Campbell record a career-high 14.5 sacks at the age of 31. We’ve seen him make the Pro Bowl at the age of 34.

Campbell will turn 36 just before the start of the 2022 NFL season. As the oldest defensive lineman on an NFL roster, he’ll begin the first year of the two-year deal that brought him back to Baltimore. Campbell isn’t focused on finishing that contract, though. Many players are encouraged to play each snap as if it’s their last. Campbell will have the rare opportunity to take that saying literally.