Campbell was reacting to the Los Angeles Rams’ victory over the Cincinnati Bengals – which saw ex-Ravens safety Eric Weddle go from retired to Super Bowl champion in just over a month – when he announced his decision about his football future.
“I love playing football,” Campbell began, “And the future is in good hands,” seemingly building towards announcing his retirement.
But then Campbell admitted that he “can’t wait to be a part of this,” expressing his desire to return for another season in pursuit of the Super Bowl ring that has been elusive in his 14-year career.
“I’m going to go out there, leave it all on the field, enjoy myself, and hopefully when it’s all said and done, I’ll have a piece of jewelry that says I’m a world champion,” said Campbell, causing one of Sky Sports reporter to directly ask him to if he would be returning for his 15th NFL season.
“I’m not retiring,” confirmed Campbell, explaining that the Rams’ victory, featuring multiple veterans winning their first Super Bowl ring, inspired him to make his decision.
“The feeling I have after seeing them celebrate a world championship, I have a desire to play football and compete,” said Campbell, “I’m definitely not retiring. I’m coming back.”
Campbell may have been directly inspired by the heroics of fellow All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald – who Campbell thinks should have been named Super Bowl MVP – and fellow NFL elder statesman Andrew Whitworth, who played for 16 years to finally win his first ring in his age-40 season.
Could Campbell Return to Ravens?
Campbell is set to hit free agency in March, but a reunion with the Ravens could already be in the cards now that he’s made up his mind to return for another year.
Though Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta admitted during his end-of-season press conference that the Ravens “need to get younger” on the defensive line, he also revealed that he had already talked to Campbell about his NFL future.
“Calais and I did talk after the season,” DeCosta said, “There will be more discussions that we have.”
It’s no surprise that Campbell would be wanted back in Baltimore; he was the Ravens’ highest-graded defender and one of the NFL’s highest-graded interior defensive linemen in 2021, according to Pro Football Focus.