Arizona Cardinals still got good deal letting Campbell walk
By Scott Allen
The Arizona Cardinals saw defensive end Calais Campbell leave in free agency after the 2016 season
For defensive end Calais Campbell, his 2017 season is still going. The current Jacksonville Jaguars and former Arizona Cardinals standout is playing in his third conference championship game on Sunday afternoon.
The first two of course were on the NFC side with the Cardinals in 2008 and 2015. One ended with a trip to the Super Bowl and the other a trip home for the season.
The Cardinals could not match what Campbell wanted to be paid though as he hit free agency after the 2016 season. It was either pay him or pay linebacker Chandler Jones.
There was no being able to afford both and some even questioned whether the Cardinals could afford either one of them. Certainly the move to Jacksonville paid off for Campbell.
The Cardinals also hit pay dirt with Jones as well. Jones just came off a 17.5 sack season, leading the NFL. It was the first time any Cardinals player lead the NFL in sacks.
Campbell has his best season by far as well. He had 14.5 sacks with the Jaguars. His previous high was nine sacks in 2013 with the Cardinals.
Was Campbell’s presence missed on the defensive line? No doubt. Fans loved him.
He was a force at times. However Jones did his part to ensure the Cardinals still had a great pass rush, despite also missing linebacker Markus Golden for much of the season.
Now Campbell has a chance to beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Sunday to head to his second Super Bowl. Jones and the Cardinals are of course sitting at home after finishing 8-8 on the season.
There are pros and cons to every move but the more this gets scrutinized, the more it is hard to argue that both teams weren’t better off in the long run. Campbell got his money and gets his chance to win a championship.
Jones easily could still have that chance. Jones is also four years younger than Campbell, so he likely has more chances than Campbell to come away with a ring before he calls it a career.
Either way, we with CC all the best in the world on Sunday afternoon. Maybe next January we will be talking about Jones entering his first championship game in the NFC?