Will It Be Calais Campbell And A Rookie?

March 17th, 2024

Manbeast Calais Campbell.

Joe would wager that the Bucs draft an edge rusher in Round 1 or 2 next month. It feels like a super safe bet on par with wagering on Joe Tryon-Shoyinka notching single-digit sacks.

So how will the Bucs upgrade overall at edge rusher? Once upon a time, Buccaneers Ring of Honor general manager Jason Licht liked to fill a key position of need by drafting a prominent rookie and signing a veteran bridge player.

Obviously, YaYa Diaby will start at one edge rusher spot last season on the heels of his excellent rookie season (minus a rough postseason). On the other edge, well, it’s messy for a Bucs team with Super Bowl aspirations.

That brings Joe to ancient Calais Campbell. At 37 years old, he grinded through 17 starts with the Falcons last season for 6 1/2 sacks and another year adding to his reputation as one of the NFL’s all-time great warriors. The six-time Pro Bowler is marching toward a Hall of Fame career and allegedly wants to keep playing.

Considering Campbell played years in Todd Bowles’ defense in Arizona and the Falcons’ defense was quite solid last season, perhaps playing on grass in Tampa with elite interior linemen is a situation Campbell wants for his 17th NFL season?

He played for $7 million in 2023. Could the Bucs get him for $5 million plus incentives?

Joe would make the deal if Campbell is motivated and the Bucs aren’t chasing a bigger fish. Campbell is a such a class act that Joe doesn’t think Campbell would agree to play anywhere just to collect a check. And Campbell would be a hell of a veteran to mentor Diaby and a top rookie.

Joe has heard a lot of Falcons fans and media clamoring for his return. The Bucs could do worse.

80 Responses to “Will It Be Calais Campbell And A Rookie?”

  1. Marine Buc Says:

    Campbell is more of a DE not an edge rusher…

    I’m looking for a guy to pair with Diaby who can get us at least 10 sacks and a bunch of QB pressures.

    Campbell would be a back-up to L. Hall and a rotational player getting 30% of the snaps.

    I respect the dude but we don’t really need a 38 year old DE at the moment.

  2. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I was just looking at the list of available free agents and thought the same thing.
    Hopefully, that would make my wish of drafting C Powers come true and we could still draft another DL or CB in round 2.

  3. BuucccNASTY Says:

    Although I agree there aren’t just 10+ sack guys around, Campbell would atleast be mentor to young guys and help turn them into 10+ sack guys

  4. sweti_yeti Says:

    Joe’s digging. We are in a youth movement, not a fill-in with old geezers stage. That was a few years ago. We are adding and developing youth to grow a long-term winner. The desperation is already old. There’s 4 months until training camp, more than enough time to figure it out.

  5. Larrd Says:

    Ogbah and Chase Young, please. On the cheap.

  6. BucoBob Says:

    Chase young or Reddick says we want to win it all

  7. SB~LV Says:


  8. Biff Barker Says:

    I don’t really care. Keeping the bum known as JTS makes Licht and Bowels look weak. Older or Younger- near any warm body has to be an upgrade.
    Its a low bar guys.

  9. Beejezus-belt Says:

    Joe, we know if you draft a rookie edge we all know it usually 2-3 years to know what you have. Like we know JTS is one hell of scarecrow on the field. No one game plans around him, well maybe at him but not around him.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I guess Joe hasn’t taken that big dump yet as a suggestion in a previous edge rusher article…..it may help with that OC edge rush disorder…..

    Yes, we need some help with the pass rush…..Licht just got an extra 3rd round pick that he can use to move up in the first and get one if he wants…..

    Rather do that than go old.

  11. Marine Buc Says:

    @ BucNasty

    I agree.

    10 sack guys aren’t that easy to find…

    However – J. Clowney is a FA and he got 9.5 sacks last season and is 31 years old.

    And – as Joe has mentioned about 20 times already – H. Reddick is available but we have to trade for him.

    If we sign Clowney I would hope that it is for @ $2.5M salary with a ton of incentives…

    How about $2.5M plus $1M per sack?

    He would probably break the NFL record if he stays healthy.

  12. Beejezus-belt Says:

    But edge is still needed, draft one every year Jason, every year.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Extra picks seem to burn a whole in Licht’s pocket most every year……wouldn’t be a bit surprised.

  14. Lt. Dan Says:

    No Joe…this dude, Campbell, was your man crush years ago. He’s a dinosaur. Pass.

  15. Simeon4HOF Says:

    I think they draft 1 in the First and sign a younger Veteran that gets cut by another team post Draft .. if JL doesn’t trade for Reddick or someone else

  16. dmatt Says:

    Larrd says,
    Ogbah and Chase Young, please. On the cheap.

    No way to Chase Young!!! He’s another primadonna/premadevin white. Let’s steer away from “mutiny on the bounty” n glamorous QUITTER type players.
    No mas, no mas.
    Swaggy Baker
    Devin White

  17. Truth be Told Says:

    Pass Rush.

  18. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Joe

    I would rather take a chance on J. Clowney over C. Campbell…

  19. agnosticbuc Says:

    Campbell? Come on.

  20. Dave Pear Says:

    Need the vet presence and Jason will get him if he can. That doesn’t mean that he won’t try to get someone else either.

  21. Let em bake Says:

    Isn’t Nelson a de? He played well last year, making some timely tackles. Make him the starter.

  22. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Let em

    Nelson is listed as an OLB.

    L. Hall, Kancey, O’Conner and Gholston were our DEs last season.

  23. Bucs Guy Says:

    I like the idea of Clowney with low salary and heavy on incentives. No way Chase — highly overrated. Campbell was the man 5 years ago. Now he’s more mentor than great rusher. He may end up as the consolation prize if you can’t get anything else.

  24. HeavyE Says:

    We did do worst! We signed baker!!!! Could have had J. Fields for a 6th round 2025 pick or a 4th rounder!!! 🤣🤣🤣

  25. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Beejezus-belt Says:
    March 17th, 2024 at 5:48 pm
    Joe, we know if you draft a rookie edge we all know it usually 2-3 years to know what you have. Like we know JTS is one hell of scarecrow on the field. No one game plans around him, well maybe at him but not around him.

    Take a look at Brian Burns stats in his 5 GS his rookie year.

    Draft better DL JL!

  26. DoooshLaRue Says:

    HeavyE Says:
    March 17th, 2024 at 6:42 pm
    We did do worst!

    What does that mean?
    Do you speak English?

  27. A Bucs Fan Says:

    It was leaked the Bucs are looking to draft C from Oregon powersjohnson.

    That’s crazy to think that would get out unless it’s a heavy smokescreen.

  28. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Dooosh

    Be nice!

    He dindo nuffin!!

  29. SenileSenior Says:

    HeavyE … 🤣🤣🤣🤣

  30. Tom M Sumner Says:

    no no Elpassssoooo Joooooeeee Totally

  31. Marine Buc Says:

    Does anyone else find it a tad bit hilarious that the Bruce Arians created offensive genius master-mind known as Byron Leftwhich is still unemployed?

    Not even a college job?

    High School?

    Pop Warner?


  32. Mike Johnson Says:

    Welcome to Buc Country..CHOP CHOP ROBINSON!!!!!

  33. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    What we need it to beat this subject to death because there is so much new information

  34. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Mike

    If Chop Robinson is still available at #26 I would be fine with our GM pulling the trigger on that pick.

    His production at PS was pretty lackluster but his “potential” ceiling is high.

    His RAS is #68 out of 1,687 DEs tested since 1987.

    He also ran a 4.4 – 40 yrd dash.

    Very impressive. But only had 6 sacks in three seasons at Penn State. That is my only complaint.

  35. Joe in Michigan Says:

    A couple reasons I’d be okay with Calais Campbell:

    1) Veteran leadership
    2) He had 6.5 sacks last year, which is 6 more than Logan Hall had

    Probably rather have an veteran Edge, though.

  36. Capt.Tim Says:

    Campbell at 37 is better than anyone on our team.
    I think YaYa has a great shot at becoming a pass rusher. In a year or two.
    He totally disappeared when they made him a starter

    JTS will NEVER BE ANYTHING on a football field. The ONLY reason we havent cut him- is because it will be embarrassing to our front office. We wasted our top pick on him that year.

    Do I think Campbell is over the hill. Yes. Do I think he would still be a QB hunter- if he only played passing downs? Absolutely!
    Only play him, when hes attacking the Olinemen. Dont subject him to playing the running game.
    Again. Hes better than anyone we have. Sure wish we coulda resigned Shaq on the Cheap.

    Campbell isnt my first choice. But if used properly- he could generate some pressure. One of my favorite players. I selfishly would just like to see him retire a Buccaneer!

  37. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    No to Calais Campbell. Too old.

    Marine Buc Says:
    “J. Clowney is a FA and he got 9.5 sacks last season and is 31 years old.”

    He’s also extremely injury prone. Before last year, he went 6 years without a healthy season.

    So pass on Clowny too.

    Hasaan is the only good option, unless another trade opportunity arises. And as bad as I want a center in the first round, he would be worth our first rounder this year…but…I’m betting Licht could get him for a 2nd and a late 3rd.

  38. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Bonzai

    You didn’t show the rest of my quote:

    In all fairness.

    “$2.5M plus $1M per sack incentive”

    He would really be just a rotational player who would probably only play @ 40-50% of the defensive snaps…

    A rotation of Diaby, Clowney, JTS, and Nelson would be OK with me.

  39. 1#bucsfan Says:

    He would be an upgrade over JTS. Add Campbell with vea, kancey Gaines and yaya that’s not a terrible line plus add in the best pass rusher available in the draft and pick up someone off the streets when cuts are made like number 56 jaquces smith way back in the day would be good. Campbell doesn’t need to play every snap keep him fresh in a good rotation and it could be a stout line.

  40. Capt.Tim Says:

    Buc Bonzi,
    I think Im right.
    But I think you may be right Too!
    You never know which Clowney you’ll get.
    Campbell is 100% effort, but what does he have left?

  41. Conner50 Says:

    I said to get Campbell on another post of Joe’s, I’d be good with it as long as it’s 5 or less. People can say he’s old, but he could teach the young guys some football that they desperately need to learn. I think Chase Young would be a higher reward if he turned out to have a good year and he would be cheap. Whatever happens though we’re gonna need Kancey and Yaya too have major strides in their second year.

  42. Usfbucs Says:

    Saw another article talking about Clowney and while I didn’t fact check them they reported that Clowney has had alternating good years so he is schedule for a down season this year.

  43. Usfbucs Says:

    My concern on Chop is that lack of production. If he wasn’t able to get home and produce sacks in college will he be able to in the NFL?

  44. Ke Says:

    Hope Chop is off the board before our pick. Give me Latu, Barton or CJC. Boom!

  45. Defense Rules Says:

    So when we play Game 1 this year, Campbell would be 38 years old. At that time, JPP would only be 35. Heck Suh would only be 37. If you insist on going the Jurassic Park route Joe, let’s bring back all 3 to mentor our youngsters.

    Or even better, just draft more youngsters and let their coaches mentor them.

  46. Steven007 Says:

    Marine, when I mentioned Robinson above, I meant Darius Robinson from Missouri. That said, I would take a chance on Chop as well if available.

  47. Steven007 Says:

    USF, as I mentioned above in a post to Marine, some of these guys blossom after college. The example I used was Danielle Hunter. Same production out of LSU as Robinson but once he hit the pros, he exploded. It’s always a gamble.

  48. Heath Hunt Says:

    Drafting an EDGE or IOL in the 1st round is likely going to be a developmental pick. They could potentially start but the likelihood of being a true difference maker in 2024 is not very high.

  49. HeavyE Says:

    Read the last sentence….. baker boys!!!! LMAO!!!

  50. Captain Vic Says:

    Re-sign wide receiver David Moore, highlight reel and limited action! All this other stuff will work itself out. David Moore legit third receiver after Evans and Godwin. Top priority, get him signed!

  51. Dave Pear Says:

    Letting the coaches “mentor” players has led to a serious regression in performance . The pass defense is a sieve in a passing league. Can’t rush the passer without sending the house after telegraphing it. Can’t play zone coverage. Degradation of run defense is evident if one looks at the data.

    I like the idea of a player who is on the field, who knows how to get it done in spite of the coaches, leading the way.

    Even in the infamous Choke Bowl when Bowels called his famous “Cover Nobody but don’t blitz either” play, Suh actually almost got to Stafford anyway. He knew what to do and losing his leadership and prickishness was a huge blowzo.

  52. Bucnjim Says:

    Defense Rules, your posts are always filled with facts, common sense & and well-thought-out responses. You threw in a little humor as well good for you. Always skim through the BS and read your views. Much appreciated!

  53. H-Town Darryl Says:


  54. Bucnjim Says:

    The fans & the media hate it when they can’t figure out what the hell is the GM thinking. Why, Why don’t you sign a big-name free-agent pass rusher? This plan has been in place since the end of the 2023 season! Don’t overspend and don’t mortgage your future on an average player. You may not agree with the plan, but I GUARANTEE you there is a plan in place. Might even shock the heck out of you, but we’ll have to wait and see won’t we?

  55. agnosticbuc Says:

    in JL we trust

  56. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Steven007

    Oh – gotcha bro.

    I thought you meant Chop…

    My bad.

  57. Tony Says:

    Yeah he wouldn’t be bad. He can still play.

  58. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    SC Bucs Fan Says:
    March 17th, 2024 at 6:59 pm
    What we need it to beat this subject to death because there is so much new information


  59. Woodenman Says:

    Cmon Buc Fan catch up it is not secret how much they like powers-johnson but the question is will he be there when they pick don,’t see them moving up.

  60. Noles Says:

    Jared verse please

  61. lambchop Says:

    Clearing up cap space with Mike is the bat signal for a DE signing. Just gotta wait and see which one it’ll be.

  62. adam from ny Says:

    respect to his great career, but he’s a bad fit at this point in his career…no to the big man

  63. adam from ny Says:

    and no to clowney…notice clowney never really latches on for long anywhere after houston…no to clowney as well

  64. Onetrickpony Says:

    Why not?
    The old lady down the street with one leg would be better than JTS

  65. Dave Pear Says:

    Belonzo Chagranting. He is the answer. He’s a two way player for Cheboygan State, a D-3 school that let him walk on when he was 5’6” coming out of high school.

    He’s now 6’1”, 220 pounds, runs a 4.4 40 and breaks the tackling dummies. A 2-way player for the Fighting Chinooks. While a RB first, he projects more as an edge rusher in the NFL. Just the type Jason loves late in the draft.

    Don’t sleep on Belonzo.

  66. Dave Pear Says:

    Hey, Pony – we have an old lady down the street with no legs in a wheelchair. She’d be better than JTS.

  67. Defense Rules Says:

    Captain Vic … ‘Re-sign wide receiver David Moore, highlight reel and limited action! Top priority, get him signed!’

    Agree 100%. He did a lot of good stuff for us last year; some of his runs after the catch were awesome. He only cost us $1.1 mil last year & that’s cheap IMO for his experience.

  68. Defense Rules Says:

    lambchop … ‘Clearing up cap space with Mike is the bat signal for a DE signing. Just gotta wait and see which one it’ll be.’

    I thought the same thing at first, but now I’m not so sure. We’ve now got $10.0 mil in CAP space to work with, and have already accounted for all but 6 of our recent signings: LVD, Bredeson, Hall, Opeta, Skule & Wolford. Even at just modest CAP hits for this year, that’d easily eat up that $10.0 mil.

    On looking at who we’ve signed, we’ve got 62 players under contract according to Spotrac, plus Shaq’s $14.2 mil is still in there. Of those, looks like 46 are ‘keepers’ based on last season. The other 7 to make up our 53-man roster will probably come from the draft and/or additional undrafted.

    I still expect JL to restructure a couple of our top earners to be able to do new contracts for Wirfs & Winfield, and maybe add 1 or 2 additional FAs (AJ Dillon & David Moore would be nice). But I don’t think the Bucs will be adding a high-priced DE/OLB; I expect their intent is to build through the draft.

  69. adam from ny Says:

    @Dave Pear:

    uh oh…another “athlete” that’s a project…

    at this point we need an edge who is not an athlete, but is actually an edge

  70. adam from ny Says:

    i like david moore…………..sign him,yeah

  71. adam from ny Says:

    i thought i heard some whispers about canales signing him in carolina…

    or maybe it was a projected signing…

    i’m not too sold on jarrett…he looked so polished last preseason – then in his limited action in the regular season he looked slower and just not all that…

    i like palmer and moore as 3 & 4…

    unless we draft a receiver early like rome or the oregon kid…

    if we say hello to rome, we say goodbye to godwin after this year

  72. teacherman777 Says:

    Campbell would replace or back up Hall.

    I love the idea of Campbell on the Bucs.

    Gholston, Campbell, Hall at DE?

    Nice rotation.

  73. TomBucsFan Says:

    He is still better than Logan Hall

  74. Larrd Says:

    Chase Young has had 7.5 sacks each of the two years he’s been healthy. Not great but twice as good as JTS. He’s 24 and hasn’t played much ball, even in college (16 sacks his second and final year). He is not lazy or unfocused. Like Joey Bosa, he works out almost too much. If he is healthy this year, he’ll get 10 or more sacks, I bet. He very well may nab 15 some year soon, too. No one else is close to his potential on the market. Simeon Rice, redux.

  75. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    A question for Larrd: If Chase Young could not get sacks for a DL line like the 49rs have with Bosa on the flip side why would he work wonders with the Bucs? Imagine JTS on the flip side. Chase would have 4 guys blocking him.
    On second thought, trade JTS for a 6th round pick.

  76. Larrd Says:

    Who knows? He had five sacks in seven games for the Commanders last year. Schemes and whatnot?

    In Tampa, Young would have Diaby and Kancey and Vea and Hall. Unproven but super promising front, imo.

  77. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Jer’Zhan Newton – line him up with Vea and Clancey- power and speed

  78. Statguy Says:

    If we are going to get a vet some where in D id rather pick up Xavian Howard

  79. Dave Pear Says:

    Calais Campbell will be a great presence on the practice field and in the locker room.

  80. Dave Pear Says:

    But Belonzo is a sleeper.