30-Year-Old Defensive End – Arizona Cardinals
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
A mountain of a lineman at 6-foot-8, 300 pounds, Campbell is one of the league's top 3-4 lineman and a sound low-end DL1 investment. There likely isn't double-digit sack upside here – Campbell's caree...
Calais Campbell Contract Information:
Signed a four-year deal with the Cardinals in May of 2012.
Campbell registered a sack and three tackles Sunday against the Redskins.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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Calais Campbell: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Campbell has long been one of the league's best-tackling defensive linemen, averaging 62.2 per year since 2010. While he's never had double-digit sacks, he averaged a healthy 7.3 the last five years. Campbell missed two games last year to injury (six in five years), but his weekly upside and consistency still make him a top IDP option. He finished third last season among DE with 16 tackles for loss. The Cardinals lost defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, but that's not a concern as Campbell thrived even before Bowles arrived in 2013.
After J.J. Watt, Campbell might be the league's top 3-4 lineman, and his real-life value reflects accordingly upon his IDP utility. The 6-8, 280 end is perhaps the best player in Arizona's strong defense, accumulating at least 60 tackles in three of his last four years and posting 29.5 sacks over that span. His durability isn't of a sterling quality -– he played through neck and leg issues at times during 2013 and missed four games over the last four years –- but he's one of the more reliable stat sources when on the field. With Arizona possessing relatively few passing-down options at defensive tackle, Campbell should have a heavy workload once again in 2014. It helps that he gets to face a couple raw interior lines twice a year against Seattle and St. Louis.
While he's no J.J. Watt, Campbell too has established himself as a remarkably productive 3-4 defensive end, always finding himself around the ball despite navigating heavy traffic every play. Despite missing three games last year, Campbell still surpassed the 60-tackle mark and posted 6.5 sacks. Those numbers would project to roughly 78 tackles and eight sacks had he played 16 games, and that's no fluke because he nearly posted those exact numbers in 2011, when he finished with 72 stops and eight sacks. While it's relatively difficult to find consistent IDP production on the defensive line, where tackles are generally sparse and sacks come in bunches, Campbell managed to post at least five tackles or a sack in nine of his 13 games last year. Give Campbell a bit of a boost if your league gives points for passes defended, because Campbell knocked down 16 passes in his last 29 games.
Campbell is probably second only to Justin Smith as far as 3-4 defensive ends go, both in real-life and IDP terms. His 2011 was a big one – a 72-tackle, eight-sack showing that earned him a five-year, $55 million deal in May. It would typically be wise to predict a regression to the mean for a player coming off a year like Campbell's, but the 2011 numbers might be his new mean. In fact, they’re largely similar to what he did in 2010, when he posted totals over 15 games that would prorate to roughly 64 tackles (49 solo) and 6.5 sacks had he not missed a game. That's just four solo stops and 1.5 sacks behind the marks he set in 2011. Campbell's value is solidified by a division that might challenge the AFC South for the distinction of being the most run-heavy in the league. Marshawn Lynch, Steven Jackson and Frank Gore (as well as Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James) will be running quite a bit in 2012, and Campbell will be the defensive lineman they encounter the most.
The 6-8 giant of a lineman is a great fit in Arizona’s 3-4 defense, emerging as a disruptor against both the run and the pass. In addition to double-digit tackles for loss in each of the last two years, Campbell has 13 sacks in that span – nice numbers for a 3-4 end. He finished 2010 with 60 tackles (46 solo) in just 15 games, and considering he’ll only be 25 in September, he's probably not done improving. With a high floor and a surprisingly high ceiling, Campbell is close to the second tier of IDP linemen.
Campbell impressed in his first year as a starter, totaling seven sacks and 48 tackles for the Cardinals. Even better numbers could be in store with a year’s worth of experience and more consistency (he had only four tackles in the last three weeks last season). At 6-8, 290, Campbell is a struggle for any offensive lineman, and his huge wingspan helped him block two field goals and knock down five passes last season. He also has good speed for his size. Don’t be surprised if he posts double-digit sacks this season.
Campbell is the leading contender to replace Antonio Smith, who signed with Houston in March, as one of Arizona’s starting defensive ends. His leading competitor, Kenny Iwebema, suffered a major setback when he underwent chest surgery in May. Campbell has great size -- including the longest wingspan in the 2008 draft -- and while he still lacks polish and consistency, he has a lot of talent. He might have been a top-10 pick if he had left college a year earlier.
The Cardinals want to bring Campbell, their 2008 second-round draft pick, along slowly. He should serve as a backup this season. Arizona wants him to focus on learning the system and putting on some weight. In future seasons, the Cardinals hope that he will develop into a dynamic pass rusher.