The Atlanta Falcons continue to be one of the busiest teams in NFL free agency.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported on March 21 that the Falcons plan to host veteran defensive end Calais Campbell.
The Baltimore Ravens released Campbell at the beginning of free agency to save salary cap space. The move gave the Ravens an additional $7 million against the 2023 cap.
Campbell is 36 years old, but he remains a force along the edge. Last season, he posted 5.5 sacks with 36 combined tackles, including 4 tackles for loss, and 14 quarterback hits. He also had 2 pass defenses and 2 forced fumbles in 14 games.
Edge rusher has been one of the Falcons’ biggest needs for several years. While Campbell is merely a possible short-term solution, he could work as a bridge edge rusher until the team finds a younger pass rusher, most likely in the draft.
The Falcons have already signed or re-signed 13 players since the start of NFL free agency on March 13. One of the team’s biggest free-agent signings was from rival New Orleans in defensive lineman David Onyemata.
Adding Campbell to defensive end on the same defensive line with Onyemata and Grady Jarrett could turn one of Atlanta’s biggest weaknesses into their strength on defense.
It would also provide insurance for Ta’Quon Graham, who was in the middle of a breakout-second season before sustaining a season-ending injury in Week 11 against the Chicago Bears. Veteran Eddie Goldman may also be option for the Falcons along their defensive line.
Campbell has played 15 NFL seasons for the Ravens, Arizona Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars. In 227 career games, he’s posted 99 sacks with 165 tackles for loss, 16 forced fumbles, 57 pass defenses and 3 interceptions.
The 15-year veteran’s best season came in 2017, his first with the Jaguars. He made first-team All-Pro and finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting behind only Aaron Donald.
Campbell has also made second-team All-Pro twice and six Pro Bowls during his career.