The Kansas City Chiefs made one big splash on the first day of NFL free agency — agreeing to terms with offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor on a multi-year contract.
That was a huge need filled, but there is still work to be done for general manager Brett Veach and the KC front office. One position group that could use fortifications is the defensive line, and a retired Chief had an idea of how to best address this situation.
“Hey Chiefs…” Geoff Schwartz voiced on Twitter, quoting an Ian Rapoport tweet that talked about Calais Campbell potentially returning to Baltimore after being cut by the Ravens on March 13. Schwartz played for Kansas City in 2013, and is also the brother of long-time Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz.
Calais Campbell Proved He’s Still Got It in 2022
Campbell’s track record speaks for itself. He’s a six-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman who made first-team All-Pro in 2017 and won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2020.
On the field, Campbell has registered 99 career sacks, with 800-plus tackles and 165 tackles for a loss according to Pro Football Reference. He’s also forced 16 fumbles, with three interceptions and 60 passes defended off the line of scrimmage.
The one concern is the age. As Rapoport noted, Campbell isn’t retiring, he feels he “has good football left and wants to keep playing” at age 37 in September. His 2022 performance backs that up as well.
Campbell logged 5.5 sacks with the Ravens last year, including 34 credited quarterback pressures on Pro Football Focus during the regular season and one during the playoffs. On Baltimore, that ranked third behind 2021 first rounder Odafe Oweh and ex-Chiefs veteran Justin Houston. On Kansas City, Campbell would have finished one QB pressure behind Mike Danna — who ranked fourth after Chris Jones, George Karlaftis and Frank Clark.
In a similar veteran rotational role, Carlos Dunlap provided a slight lesser impact at 4.0 sacks and 32 QB pressures.
Chiefs Kingdom Supports Calais Campbell Signing
KC supporters chimed in on Schwartz’s suggestion, and the responses were mostly positive.
“Put him in the rotation next to Jones on a one year deal…” One fan commented. “Heck yeah. He’s older but still an improvement over the other DT depth the last few years.”
Another reacted: “Calais cmon down 😈.” And a third said: “Veach written all over it lol.”
Finally, one fan summed up that Veach theme that was referenced. “[Terrell] Suggs, [Melvin] Ingram, Dunlap, Campbell… Yeah, it’d fit the pattern,” they joked.
Of course, there was the question of financials, as there typically is. “This makes sense but how much $$$?” The inquiring fan questioned.
Campbell was only guaranteed $6 million in 2022, but ended up earning $6.5 million out of a potential $12.5 million contract according to Over the Cap. The two-year re-signing with Baltimore was originally “worth $12.5 million but could be as much as $16.5 million with incentives.” Obviously, the vet becoming a cap casualty after year one limited that payout.
You have to think Campbell would only commit to a one-year deal in 2023, given his age and potential retirement after surpassing sack number 100. Having said that, would a $5 million contract do the trick — with the potential for more in incentives?
That’s the lowest amount of guaranteed money Campbell has ever committed to during his long and illustrious career, but perhaps he’d be willing to make an exception for a shot at a Super Bowl ring. After all, Campbell has yet to win the big game despite 15 NFL seasons and 242 total appearances.
He’s done just about everything else too, the D-lineman was even voted the PFWA Defensive Player of the Year in 2017.