Although Calais Campbell will play his age-36 season in 2022, the Ravens needed to fend off a few suitors to re-sign the accomplished defensive lineman.
The Browns, Chiefs and Colts showed interest in Campbell, according to USA Today’s Josina Anderson (on Twitter). Campbell elected to re-sign with the Ravens on a two-year deal that guarantees $6MM and could pay up to $16.5MM.
A six-time Pro Bowler, Campbell has thrived with three teams and in both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes. The trio of clubs pursuing Campbell use 4-3 alignments, though that distinction matters less in the sub-package-ruled modern game, but each team joins the Ravens as contenders in what has become a deep AFC.
Kansas City certainly has a need for pass-rushing help. Frank Clark has largely not delivered on the monster extension the Chiefs gave him and faces a suspension. The team lost interior pass rusher Jarran Reed in free agency and has yet to re-sign Melvin Ingram. The Chiefs’ 31 sacks last season ranked 29th. Cleveland has yet to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney and has needs at defensive tackle as well, with Malik Jackson hitting free agency and Malik McDowell nontendered as an RFA following an offseason arrest. The Colts added two-time Campbell teammate Yannick Ngakoue via trade and feature highly drafted youngsters Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo alongside DeForest Buckner up front.
The Ravens expressed interest in D-linemen this offseason, and Campbell fills a short-term need. Interior linemen Brandon Williams is a free agent, joining edge rusher Justin Houston. Both are going into their age-33 seasons. Derek Wolfe is considering retirement after injuries kept him off the field last year. Baltimore did bring back nose tackle Michael Pierce, whom the Vikings released last month. The team’s deal with Za’Darius Smith fell through at the 11th hour, with the Vikings eventually adding the Pro Bowl edge.