Demanding Calais Campbell’s Arrival

February 17th, 2017

BY IRA KAUFMAN

When it comes to the Bucs and free agency, one man towers above the rest.

Literally and figuratively.

Giant Calais Campbell

He won’t come cheap, but Calais Campbell needs to haul his 6-foot-8, 300-pound frame from Arizona to the Sunshine State and help the Bucs reach the promised land.

Campbell turns 31 on Sept. 1, but he shows no signs of slowing down after nine seasons with the Cardinals. He is coming off one of his best years, posting eight sacks, two forced fumbles, three fumbles recovered and an interception.

There was a time not long ago when the Bucs wouldn’t look twice at any free agent in his 30s, but that stance has changed. Credit Jason Licht for reaching out to a Brent Grimes and a Robert Ayers last year, adding critical leadership.

Campbell is in that same mold, a voice of experience and wisdom who can still play at a high level.

Why would the Cardinals allow Campbell to reach free agency? They don’t have much of a choice.

$12 Million? No Problem.

It appears Arizona will be forced to use its franchise tag on pass rusher Chandler Jones (11 sacks), the former Patriots first-round pick. It’s the same tag the Cardinals applied to Campbell in 2012. That’s where the Bucs can swoop in and show Campbell more love than anyone else.

Let’s not kid ourselves — Campbell will be one of the most coveted players in free agency.

Bring it on.

The Broncos could pitch a return to Campbell’s roots in Denver, and that makes for a heartwarming story, but this isn’t about writing a Hallmark card. The Bucs have the cold, harsh cash to get this done.

If it takes $12 million a year, so be it.

That’s the cost of doing business when it comes to a two-time Pro Bowler who has missed only six games in nine years.

Campbell worked primarily with a 3-4 front in Arizona, but he has the athleticism and versatility to be an impact player in a four-man line.

“Some tall guys can’t bend,” says Cardinals coach Bruce Arians. “They have to stay out on the edge. Calais can bend, so he can play all four positions across the front.”

No suitor for Campbell’s services will have better intel than Tampa Bay. Licht was a personnel executive in Arizona in 2008, 2012 and 2013, and one of his best friends is Cardinals GM Steve Keim.

If Campbell hits free agency, as expected, Keim will make sure the Bucs know everything about him.

There’s a lot to like.

Telling Chills

Campbell is well respected among teammates and fans in the desert. When he talks, people listen.

He does most of his talking on the field, knocking down passes, demanding double teams and standing tall against the run for the NFL’s second-ranked defense.

The Cardinals have said goodbye to talented vets in recent years — Adrian Wilson, Karlos Dansby, Darnell Dockett and Antonio Cromartie — and Arizona’s loss could be Tampa’s gain.

Campbell looked like he had one foot out the door after Arizona’s final home game, a 48-41 loss to New Orleans.

“Before the game I was getting chills on my back just thinking about the honor that I’ve had with being able to play with this group of men and for this organization for as long as I have,” Campbell said.

Does that sound like a player who plans to return?

Get ‘er done, Bucs.

24 Responses to “Demanding Calais Campbell’s Arrival”

  1. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Campbell is like an uprgraded Will Gholston. The Dline would beastly if we add that kind of size and talent to the team.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Thank you Ira for backing Calais Campbell. Bucs desperately need another hoss like him. Git ‘er done Jason.

  3. macabee Says:

    Make it a “twofer” – DE/DT Calais Campbell and FS Tony Jefferson. Could use both!

  4. Ray Rice Says:

    They will get Beast Calais and then all these Aunt Geraldine Riders will complain that he needs more help to be elite. SMH

  5. LakeLandBuc Says:

    There’s at least 20-25 teams with Calais Campbell on their Radar. And his hometown team ( Denver Broncos) probably will make a strong play for him. I’m not saying that we don’t have a chance of landing him. I’m just mention the competition that we face in landing him.

  6. macabee Says:

    Re: Calais Campbell

    Just for comparison. Julius Peppers, 6-7, 287 is 37 years old and still going strong for the Packers. In the last 5 years, Peppers has 43.5 sacks, avg. 8/yr , had 7.5 sacks last year. Go get Calais!

  7. bucsfaninchina Says:

    macabee has got the right idea

  8. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Say it LOUD and say it proud Mac. GO GET CALAIS MR. LICHT. Home town my @$$ Lakeland money talk son. And I second that Defense thanks for endorsing this tower of a football player.

  9. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Somebody pick up the tab for Ira tonight yo.

  10. SB Says:

    Finally someone is thinking like I have been all along.

  11. Locked In Says:

    But but but GMC will turn him into a soft, warm hearted loser…

  12. gotbbucs Says:

    $12 million a year for Campbell will look like an absolute bargain compared to GMC’s $14 million. I just can’t see paying two interior d-linemen that kind of money at the same time.

  13. Kalind Says:

    JPP > Campbell. Better pass rusher. Better scheme fit.

  14. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    So are we saying its time to trade GMC to Dallas??
    Sounds like Joe needs a poll…time to trade GMC or Nah?

  15. Ren Daxt Says:

    $12 million per for how many years. Is Ira comfortable signing Campbell for 5 years?

    As the Bucs arrow trends up their cap space will become smaller and smaller. D.Smith, Kwon, Ali, Evans, Jameis, N.Spence, and Hargreaves contracts will need to be addressed during that time.

    If it’s a 3 year deal I’m in, but Campbell most likely will someone to give him a 5 year deal.

    Personally I’d like to see Jason Licht go after a pure DT like Nick Fairley or Bennie Logan to finally give McCoy some real help. Both players are younger and won’t command anywhere near $12 million per he says Campbell will.

    Freeing up more money so Licht can go after one of the young FA safeties. Berry KC, Cyprein JAX, or Jefferson ARI. Players that will still be in their prime in 5 years.

  16. Buc1987 Says:

    macabee …lol it’s like shopping for used cars.

    I’ll take him.

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    I love how people turn a “hope” story into a GMC bashfest!
    Calais would be a welcome addition to a struggling D-line (There’s 4 guys in a 4-3 alignment guys. Not just 1!!!).

  18. @Hands2theFace Says:

    Said it before and I’ll say it again…We can swing for the fences, take the company jet to Arizona stuffed with cash, but something tells me it won’t matter if the cowgirls come calling.

  19. rayjay1122 Says:

    He is one of the free agents that I hope we can get. He has my vote.

  20. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I still like Chris Wormley 6’6 305 lb DT from Michigan. If we miss out on Calais Campbell. He would be the perfect pick in Round 2, he’s 23 and $11 Million per season cheaper.

  21. StPeteBucsfan Says:

    @macabee

    Great point about Peppers..I was going to bring up Freeney who is 36…different body type but same concept.

    I’m prejudiced!! I’m an old dude and I resent being compared to my peers because 95% of them are already gassed…bad knees…backs…can’t play tennis or even walk a couple of miles. Age is an incredibly individual thing. People simply age at dramatically different rates…lots of variables from genes to how much effort one puts in to work out and eat right.

    I really would love to have Campbell!!! Agree completely with IRA on this one.
    The three plays over the past few years that just make me want to puke…TE’s running uncovered through our defense….quick slants not contested by press coverage…AND…running backs ripping us a new one. I think Campbell would help address that last problem.

  22. @Hands2theFace Says:

    If Campbell brings his talent to Tampa, who gets #93?

  23. German Buc Says:

    I’m on the Campbell Bandwagon.

    The NFC South is known as a QB division – and with Campbell our defensive front will turn into a wrecker giving the Ryans, Brees and Newtons nightmares. And in addition I like the idea of drafting a young DT in a middle round to learn from him and #93!

  24. bucfaninPhoenix Says:

    I have watched this guy numerous times here in Phoenix. He is really nothing to get excited about at this point in his career. Could he come here and do a decent job? YES! But not for very long at this point in his career.

    Is he someone that is going to make you say WOW! He is awesome and is going to be awesome for years to come and be THAT guy we’ve missed since Simeon Rice? Absolutely NOT. I distinctly remember 3 of his 8 sacks last year being under garbage situations during games that were already lost and were basically at insignificant times.

 

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