Calais Campbell

Dolphins To Sign DL Calais Campbell

JUNE 21: Campbell’s Miami return will see him receive the veteran’s minimum ($1.21MM) for a base salary, per Over the Cap. The pact includes a $790K signing bonus, resulting in a cap charge of $2MM. If Campbell can remain healthy in 2024, he should be able to provide cost-effective play against the run and pass for the Dolphins.

JUNE 13: The Dolphins are not stopping at Shaquil Barrett as a front-seven addition. They are adding one of this era’s most accomplished defensive linemen. Calais Campbell is coming back to South Florida.

After a season in Atlanta, Campbell intends to sign with the Dolphins, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero. Campbell is a Denver native but played collegiately at Miami back in the 2000s. This will be the consistent D-lineman’s 17th NFL season. The agreement will also reunite Campbell and new Dolphins DC Anthony Weaver, who coached the stalwart interior defender with the Ravens.

Plenty of time has passed since Campbell’s previous Miami stay; he was college teammates with Frank Gore, Devin Hester and Antrel Rolle. Campbell joined the Hurricanes 20 years ago, redshirting during the 2004 season. The 37-year-old defender did return to Florida for his memorable Jaguars stay; this will complete a journey back to where he starred in college. Campbell will join a Dolphins team that lost top interior pass rusher Christian Wilkins this offseason.

Although Campbell will turn 38 in September, he is still performing at a high level. The former Cardinals draftee totaled 6.5 sacks last season, pacing the Falcons, and produced his most quarterback hits (17) since the 2019 season. His 10 tackles for loss also doubled as the most he had notched since 2019. Campbell also notched a third career safety during a productive Atlanta stay, but after the Falcons changed coaching staffs, the productive veteran will rejoin his former position coach in Miami.

New Falcons HC Raheem Morris said in April he looked forward to a Campbell meeting, keeping the door open to a return. Atlanta, which has Grady Jarrett on the road back from an ACL tear, used three draft choices to bolster its D-line this year. While the Falcons took heat for drafting Michael Penix Jr. in Round 1 and punting on its glaring need for a pass rusher, the team did circle back to help its front on Days 2 and 3 of the draft.

Standing 6-foot-8, Campbell has been one of this era’s premier inside rushers. He will enter the 2024 season with 105.5 career sacks. Among players currently on NFL rosters, only Von Miller (123.5) and Cameron Jordan (117.5) have that beat. Campbell, who is also one of the great kick blockers in NFL history, entered the NFL three years before those edge-rushing standouts. He will continue to serve as the longest-tenured defender in football.

Campbell made all six of his Pro Bowls from 2014-20, serving as a key part of the Cardinals’ successful mid-2010s defenses before anchoring the Jaguars’ “Sacksonville” efforts later in the decade. Campbell’s free agency accord with Jacksonville in 2017 played a central role in the team making a stunning run to the AFC championship game. He totaled a career-high 14.5 sacks that season and followed that up with 10.5 in 2018. As the Jags’ nucleus splintered, Campbell wound up in Baltimore via trade. He spent three seasons with the Ravens, making a Pro Bowl in 2020 and totaling 5.5 sacks in 2022.

The Dolphins lost both Wilkins and Raekwon Davis off their defensive line in free agency. While the team extended Zach Sieler last year, Wilkins broke through as a pass rusher in his contract year and signed a monster Raiders deal in free agency. The Dolphins had not ruled out retaining Wilkins, but their cap situation made that virtually impossible.

Campbell has a better record as a pass rusher, though his age obviously brings down his price tag. The historically experienced pass rusher joins Jonathan Harris, Da’Shawn Hand and Teair Tart as Miami offseason D-line additions. Campbell played for $7MM last season; it should be expected his Dolphins contract will not check in too much higher than the deals given to the other UFA D-linemen Miami added this year.

Falcons Open To Re-Signing Calais Campbell

Calais Campbell remains unsigned well after his debut season in Atlanta. The All-Decade defender could still find himself with the Falcons in 2024 if he elects to continue his career, though.

Campbell, 37, joined the team on a one-year deal last offseason. That agreement came amongst questions about his playing future, after his Ravens tenure was brought to an end following three seasons in Baltimore. The six-time Pro Bowler is best known for his work as a D-lineman (especially in the waning stages of his career), but as planned he spent considerable time on the edge with Atlanta. Playing all 17 games in 2023, Campbell totaled 6.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss.

Coming off that production, the Falcons are interested in a new deal. Head coach Raheem Morris confirmed (via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) both he and general manager Terry Fontenot hope to re-sign Campbell. Morris added he has briefly spoken to the former All-Pro already, but a face-to-face conversation would provide him to opportunity to directly pitch the idea of remaining in Atlanta.

“I look forward to get[ting] a chance to sit in front of him because he’s certainly impressive as it gets when he comes to football character,” Morris said. “He’s had an impressive of a career that you can have… I’m looking [forward] to discussing that in farther detail with him at a later date.”

Campbell tied for the team lead in sacks, underscoring his continued ability as he ages but also the Falcons’ need to make additions in the pass-rush department. The former second-rounder reached a well-documented personal goal last season by eclipsing 100 career sacks, but it would come as little surprise if teams viewed him as more of a rotational option moving forward. Campbell logged a 63% snap share, a figure in line with his usage from the past two seasons and his stated plan ahead of the 2023 campaign.

The former Walton Payton Man of the Year winner remained a strong presence against the run last season, recording an 80.2 PFF grade in that regard. He would be expected to continue offering similar play in 2024 if he were to carry on with his career. Campbell’s decision on his future will be a storyline to watch as the offseason continues, but the Falcons – a team currently armed with only $6.3MM in cap space entering the draft – would certainly welcome him back.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/7/23

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: OL LaColby Tucker
  • Activated from active/PUP list: DL Calais Campbell
  • Waived: DL Matthew Gotel

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Placed on IR: DT Devonnsha Maxwell

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Waived: OL Trevor Reid

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: LB Jordan Ferguson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Commanders

Streveler is currently dealing with an injury, ESPN’s Dianna Russini tweets. The Jets used Streveler as their top backup QB to close last season, inserting him into a Week 16 game ahead of Joe Flacco. Streveler stuck around via reserve/futures contract in January. But the Jets have since traded for Aaron Rodgers and signed Tim Boyle, marking a new era at quarterback. With Zach Wilson still around, the team does not appear to have any room — potentially even on the practice squad — for Streveler, who has played for the Jets and Cardinals in a three-year NFL career.

Apke has been with Washington since being chosen in the 2018 fourth round. He re-signed with the team in 2022 and stayed via reserve/futures contract in January. A shoulder injury, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, will move Apke to IR, which will end his chances of playing a sixth season with the Commanders this year. Kalu started five games for the Titans last season, playing 494 defensive snaps. Over his first three seasons, Kalu had never cleared the 100-snap barrier on defense.

Schoonmaker suffered a foot injury, a plantar fascia tear, during his final year at Michigan. The Cowboys’ top post-Dalton Schultz tight end investment will aim to make a push for a regular role to begin the season.

The Dolphins made Blackman part of their UDFA class this year. The former Florida State starter spent six years in college, finishing up with Arkansas State. The Dolphins swapped out Teddy Bridgewater for Mike White this offseason, but Skylar Thompson has made a push to be Tua Tagovailoa‘s backup. Regardless of that competition’s outcome, Blackman’s ceiling appeared to be practice squad QB in Miami. But the Dolphins may be looking into outside help for that developmental role — provided the team plans on stashing a fourth passer on its taxi squad.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/25/23

With a number of teams preparing for the start of training camp, a long list of players were placed on inactive lists today. We’ve compiled all of those and today’s other minor moves below:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Commanders

Free Agents

Isaiah Wilson hasn’t had an NFL gig since he was released by the Giants in January of 2022. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the free agent lineman was slapped with a three-game suspension, but it’s uncertain what led to the temporary ban. Wilson was a first-round pick by the Titans in 2020 but got into only one game with Tennessee before getting shipped off to Miami. He was waived by Miami after showing up late to his team physical, and his practice squad stint with New York only lasted one season.

Max Garcia is an experienced addition to the Saints OL room, with the veteran having most recently started seven of his 12 appearances with the Cardinals in 2022. The 31-year-old has 59 games of starting experience, although Pro Football Focus was iffy on his production last year (63rd among 77 qualifying offensive guards).

Following a three-year stint in Cleveland, Terrance Mitchell has spent the past two seasons bouncing around the NFL. He got into 14 games (13 starts) for the Texans in 2021, finishing with 60 tackles and 10 passes defended. He spent the 2022 season with the Titans, finishing with 39 tackles in 11 games (five starts). 49ers fifth-round pick Darrell Luter Jr. is set to miss some time with a knee injury, providing Mitchell with an opportunity during training camp.

NFC South Notes: Falcons, Saints, Shenault

A 16-game starter as a rookie in 2021, Jalen Mayfield missed all of last season due to injury. The Falcons designated the former third-round pick for return but let his practice period expire without an activation. Prior to the injury, Mayfield lost a competition for the team’s left guard gig last summer. They have since moved in another direction at guard, both sliding ex-center starter Matt Hennessy to that post and drafting Syracuse’s Matthew Bergeron in Round 2. As a result, Mayfield spent this offseason primarily at tackle, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes.

Mayfield started 15 of the 18 games he played at Michigan at right tackle. He struggled at guard as a rookie; Pro Football Focus rated him as one of the NFL’s worst O-linemen that year. Guard does not appear to be in Mayfield’s past, however, with Arthur Smith suggesting a swing backup role is likely. The Falcons re-signed right tackle Kaleb McGary this offseason and look to have a fairly set O-line, with Chris Lindstrom, longtime left tackle Jake Matthews and center Drew Dalman rounding out the unit.

Here is the latest from the NFC South:

  • Calais Campbell is expected to play a true edge role in Atlanta, to the point Ledbetter slots the 300-pound defender as an outside linebacker in the Falcons’ defense. It should not be expected Campbell will spend much time in a standup position outside, but it is interesting the career-long D-lineman is even mentioned as a candidate to do so. Campbell is aiming to play around 60% of the Falcons’ defensive snaps, per Ledbetter. That would be in line with the veteran’s Ravens role; he respectively logged 64% and 62% snap rates over the past two seasons. Campbell, who signed a one-year deal worth $7MM, will turn 37 in September.
  • On the topic of positional adjustments, the Panthers are giving Jordan Thomas a shot as an edge rusher. Formerly a sixth-round Texans pick in 2018, Thomas was a tight end during his previous NFL run. He caught 20 passes as a Houston rookie. Thomas, however, saw some time as an edge rusher in the XFL, and Joe Person of The Athletic notes he will attempt to make the Panthers’ 53-man roster as an outside linebacker (subscription required). This is a somewhat unusual transition, as Thomas still primarily played tight end in the XFL. He caught three TD passes this season.
  • Through two seasons, the Saints have not seen much from first-round pick Payton Turner. The 2021 draftee should not be considered a lock to make New Orleans’ 53-man roster, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.football writes. While Turner will be expected to make the team, due to his draft status and contract, the defensive end has three sacks in two seasons and was a healthy scratch at points last year. The Saints used a second-round pick on a D-end (Isaiah Foskey) and re-signed Tanoh Kpassagnon, but the team also let Marcus Davenport leave in free agency. The Saints would eat $3.2MM in dead money by waiving Turner; the Houston alum showing belated development would obviously be the best-case scenario for the team.
  • New Orleans also did not re-sign Jarvis Landry this offseason, leaving some competition for the receiver spots alongside Chris Olave and Michael Thomas. James Washington is not a lock to make the Saints’ roster, but Underhill adds the ex-Steelers second-rounder impressed during the offseason program and will be in the mix to snag one of the backup jobs. The Saints signed Washington to a league-minimum deal with nothing guaranteed.
  • The Panthers are still determining the best way to deploy Laviska Shenault, but Person notes a bigger run-game role will likely be in the cards. A fourth-year wide receiver, Shenault totaled nine carries last season. One of them went for a 41-yard touchdown. The former second-round pick worked in a hybrid capacity at points in Jacksonville as well and has logged 38 career carries.

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 ESPN.com 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 The33rdTeam.com).
  • 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 OverTheCap.com, 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 ProFootballNetwork.com (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 NFL.com 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 NFL.com 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.