Giants ‘Connection’ to 6-Time Pro Bowl Free Agent Can’t ‘Be Ignored’

The New York Giants still need defensive line depth, even after agreeing a deal with free agent Rakeem Nunez-Roches on Monday, March 13. If general manager Joe Schoen continues searching the market for help up front, he won’t find a better option than Calais Campbell, especially since the Giants have a close “connection” to the six-time Pro-Bowler.

Campbell was released by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday, and ESPN’s Jordan Raanan retweeted the statement from GM Eric DeCosta, along with this note: “Campbell’s connection to Giants DC Wink Martindale should not be ignored.”

Campbell’s connection to Giants DC Wink Martindale should not be ignored. https://t.co/D5IZ0vHPAR

— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) March 13, 2023

As Raanan noted, the presence of Don ‘Wink’ Martindale gives the Giants a strong chance to sign Campbell. Martindale took over stewardship of the Giants’ defense last season, following four years calling plays for Baltimore’s D’.

Campbell earned his sixth invite to the Pro Bowl on Martindale’s watch in 2020, and the 36-year-old defensive tackle believes he still has enough left in the tank to make an impact for a new team this year.

Giants Should Be at Front of the Queue for Dominant ‘Beast’

He may have endured 15 seasons in the pros, but Campbell is convinced he still has a lot left to offer. A text sent to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson confirmed that belief, with Campbell promising “some team is gonna get a beast out there.”

Text from Calais Campbell on the next chapter of his NFL future after moving on from the #Ravens: “I love Baltimore, but everything happens for a reason. I am going to be ready to dominate for someone next season. Some team is gonna get a beast out there.”

— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 14, 2023

That’s no empty claim since Campbell has 100 sacks and 57 pass breakups on his CV. He’s also remained a destructive force against the run.

Campbell’s numbers with the Ravens in 2022 were still more than respectable, when he managed to notch 5.5 sacks, along with 15 pressures, eight quarterback knockdowns and 14 QB hits, per Pro Football Reference. No. 93 also helped himself to four tackles for loss, as well as making 3.5 run stuffs, according to ESPN.

Campbell showed off his prowess for wrecking running plays at source with this stop against the New England Patriots from Week 3 last season, highlighted by Spencer N. Schultz of SB Nation’s Baltimore Beatdown:

Pats run bend (I think bend not belly) against a six man box.

Travis Jones absolutely annihilates the combo block.

Calais Campbell 6-tech in the run game is hilarious. No TE can block him. pic.twitter.com/S1Kx6YqJF5

— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) September 27, 2022

The Giants need an active big body to fill rushing lanes after surrendering 5.2 yards per attempt in 2022, the second-most in the NFL. Putting Campbell on the same line as Leonard Williams and All-Pro Dexter Lawrence II would give the Giants arguably the most physically imposing front three in football.

Giants Should Keep Adding to Team Strength

Martindale’s defensive front has already been given an infusion of fresh talent after the Giants agreed a three-year contract with Nunez-Roches, per SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Adam Caplan:

Nunez-Roches has $5.5m in year one ($4.3m SB, $1.165m salary, $30k WO bonus), which is $500k more than he earned in his last 2-year deal with the #Buccaneers. https://t.co/GZSLQTBXQz

— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 14, 2023

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl winner Nunez-Roches is a solid pro who can play either defensive end or nose tackle. Yet, the 29-year-old won’t take over a game and wreck the line of scrimmage the way Campbell can.

His game-wrecking talents extend to special teams, where Campbell has set an NFL record for blocking field goals, per Ravens.com Editorial Director Ryan Mink:

Calais Campbell has NINE career blocked field goals, the most among active NFL players.

As Mike Tomlin said, “We allowed a known legendary guy to block a kick.” pic.twitter.com/nJqbYoFIER

— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) December 13, 2022

Campbell’s ability to consistently impact two of the game’s three phases makes him worth an investment, despite his advancing years. His dead cap figure is calculated at $2.44 million by Spotrac.com, but the Giants should find room for a team-friendly, short-term contract.

DeCosta hasn’t “closed the door” on Campbell returning to M&T Bank Stadium, so Schoen shouldn’t wait to add a legitimate marquee talent to a position group still in need of reinforcements.

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