The defensive end has been a stalwart on the Arizona Cardinals but could 2016 be his last year in the desert?
It’s hard to believe that Calais Campbell, a defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals, is only 29 years old. 2008, the year the Cards made their Super Bowl run, was also Campbell’s rookie campaign. And that seems like a very long time ago for fans hungry for a championship.
The two-time Pro Bowler has put together a stellar career since then. 448 tackles, 48.5 sacks, 36 passes defensed and two picks comprise an impressive resume. Along the way Campbell has been a rock, missing very few games, a very important attribute for any player.
In a year where the Cardinals are considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender, Campbell is in a contract year. He’s a very important piece on a very talented defense and without a doubt will be looking to cash in at the end of the season.
It’s pretty safe to assume the front office and coaching staff want him back in the nest, as he’s a vocal local and also a disruptive force on the field, causing havoc for opposing offenses. He’s 6’8 and 300 lbs, a mountain of a man who’s extremely hard to move. His height and long wingspan make life very difficult for QBs trying to complete passes over him.
More from Raising Zona
- Arizona Cardinals: Could Eric Bieniemy come to the desert?
- Would Jonathan Gannon be a good fit for the Arizona Cardinals?
- Arizona Cardinals: Budda Baker right in his take regarding the next coach
- Arizona Cardinals: 3 reasons new coach should want to work with Murray
- Arizona Cardinals special teams could be completely revamped in 2023
The snag in the resigning of Campbell is that he will not be the only Cardinal looking for big money next offseason. New outside linebacker Chandler Jones will most likely be the club’s #1 priority. Another player the team will most likely want to retain is wide receiver Michael Floyd.
Could the defensive line move forward and flourish without a talent like Campbell? It’s a question that will have to be considered from many different angles.
The drafting of DT Robert Nkemdiche could potentially soften the blow of the long-time Cardinal’s departure. Nkemdiche is a crazy talent who carries with him some baggage. Management has placed alot of eggs into the basket of the rookie.
Decisions on the defensive line in 2017 don’t end with Campbell. Frostee Rucker, Red Bryant and Josh Mauro are also unrestricted free agents.
The thought of the nine-year veteran in another team’s uniform is not a pleasant one. He has represented the organization with class both on and off the field. If anyone is deserving of a new contract, it’s Campbell. Die-hard Arizona fans can only hope it happens.