The new league year hasn’t even started yet, and Ravens’ general manager Eric DeCosta is already making moves.
The newly christened king of trades is at it again with another banger.
It was a relatively quiet Sunday for the Baltimore Ravens. The NFL news cycle was dominated by the new collective bargaining agreement, which was accepted by the NFL Players Association on Sunday, enabling the controversial proposal to go into effect.
Baltimore completely changed conversations around the league by trading for Campbell. The 33-year old pass rusher is one of the NFL’s most familiar faces. The former Cardinal spent nine years in Arizona where he totaled 56.5 sacks, 382 solo tackles, eight forced fumbles, and three interceptions before signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jacksonville is parting ways with Campbell not because he played poorly (he didn’t), but because the Jaguars are in full rebuild mode. Jacksonville began to purge their roster last season, as the team traded star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams.
Calais Campbell never missed a game for the Jaguars between 2017 and 2019. In his three years with the Jaguars, Campbell amassed 31.5 sacks, 137 solo tackles, 44 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, two touchdowns, and 77 quarterback hits.
Despite playing so well, Campbell’s price tag pushed him out of the Jaguars’ future plans. The veteran defensive lineman has just one year left on his contract and is scheduled to inflict a $15 million cap hit that the Ravens will now eat. Because of Jacksonville’s desperation to offload one of their most costly players, the Ravens were able to only give up a fifth-round pick. This fifth-round pick is the same one that Baltimore received from the Vikings for Kaare Vedvik way back in the summer of 2019.
The Ravens will want to sign Calais Campbell to a long term deal in the near future. The Ravens signed Marcus Peters to a 3-year, $42 million contract in December after trading for him in October. If history is an indicator of the future, Campbell is on track for another big payday.
The Ravens envision a big role for Campbell, as Baltimore tries to rebuild last year’s 21st ranked pass rush.
This trade does leave one to question Matthew Judon’s status. The Ravens franchise tagged him just two days ago. Judon’s $16 million price tag is already high, but now the Ravens are set to pay him and Campbell roughly $31 million combined. The Ravens are either setting up a one-two punch reminiscent of the Suggs and Dumervil duo, or Judon might be on his way out the door. It is difficult to make a prediction now, but the situation needs to be changed one way or another. The Ravens now only have $4.6 million in cap space. Trading Judon would more than quadruple Baltimore’s cap space. The Ravens can find more room by cutting veterans like Brandon Carr, a move that would add $7 million in space.
Calais Campbell Nears Deal with Ravens
It’s only been about an hour since the news of the trade broke, but Baltimore is already nearing a deal with Calais Campbell. According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Campbell and the Ravens are finalizing a 2-year, $27 million deal. It is not official yet (like Jihad Ward’s contract, also in the final stages of production), but it looks like it should be done soon.