Free agents the Arizona Cardinals may lose by signing J.J. Watt
Campbell signed a one-year prove-it deal in 2020 and he proved it. He ranked third on the team with 99 combined tackles. He also recorded 7 tackles for loss, and even posted 2.0 sacks. Campbell has been a fantastic asset over the last two seasons (he spent 2019 with the Atlanta Falcons where he led the team with 129 tackles).
He will be 28 in 2021, and he has earned a big payday. But that payday probably won’t be with the Cardinals, unless they can work out an agreement.
One reason is the emergence of Isaiah Simmons. A versatile player, Simmons’ natural position has always been at inside linebacker. And while he had a slow start to his rookie season in 2020, his play improved as the season wore on and he eventually earned a spot on the PFWA All-Rookie Team.
With Simmons slated to make The Leap in 2021, it exposes Campbell to walk and test the market. Chances are with Watt’s deal, it’ll cost too much to bring Campbell back. Even if the Cardinals still have plans to use Simmons all over the field.
Expect either Simmons to replace Campbell, or for the Cardinals to take advantage of Simmons’ versatility while they sign or draft an inside linebacker at a cheaper price.