Veteran Defender Revealed as Ravens’ Most Overpaid Player

Calais Campbell

Getty Calais Campbell on the sidelines during a Ravens game.

Eric DeCosta is one of the best general managers in the NFL and remains at the top of his game, so finding flaws in his strategy to build the Baltimore Ravens is often tough to do.

Even though that’s the case, DeCosta has made his share of mistakes through the years as any general manager has, and keeping around an expensive veteran pass rusher could be his latest error according to some. According to Bleacher Report, Calais Campbell is the most overpaid player on the roster.

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Campbell’s massive contract, which pays him $25 million over the next two years with $20 million in guaranteed money, isn’t looking the best right now thanks to his age as well as a potential decline in production. That’s just the reason that Kristopher Knox thinks he has the worst deal on the team.

He wrote:

“It’s tricky to find an overpaid player on the Baltimore Ravens roster because the franchise rarely spends big in free agency. However, defensive end Calais Campbell qualifies based on his age (34) and the amount of guaranteed money on the deal.

Campbell is still a productive contributor—he was a Pro Bowler in 2020—but he is no longer an elite defensive end. His last double-digit-sack season came in 2018, and he was far less effective off the edge this past season.

in 2020, Campbell had only four sacks and 13 quarterback pressures. That level of production doesn’t justify a $12.5 million annual salary. It’s fair to wonder if his Pro Bowl nod was largely based on name recognition.

Unfortunately, the Ravens have no choice but to continue overpaying the soon-to-be 35-year old. Campbell is set to carry a cap hit of $13 million in 2021, and that sum is fully guaranteed.”

If the Ravens end up doing some big winning and Campbell is even a small part of it, this won’t be an issue for the team whatsoever. Even such, some look at the contract and wonder how it will look for Baltimore as Campbell continues to age.

Ravens Typically Do Well With Contracts

Unsurprisingly, the Ravens are one of the more elite teams in the league in terms of signing players. DeCosta typically doesn’t take many risks in free agency and instead looks to build through the draft as well as keeping around their own free agents. Occasionally, the team will take on a player via trade, and Campbell represented such a deviation for the team. It’s worked out decently for the Ravens, but obviously, all deals aren’t perfect and Campbell might end up being a bit of a tough case for the team given how much he is owed the next few years.

Even such, if this is the worst deal the Ravens have to complain about given the short term and smaller amount of money, the team is actually in phenomenal shape.

Campbell’s Career Stats

Coming to Baltimore last offseason, Campbell entered as one of the team’s most productive defensive linemen. At 34, before last season in his career, he piled up 696 tackles and 88 sacks. He was a former second round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2008, and most recently played for the Jacksonville Jaguars until a trade sent him to the Ravens this offseason. That’s a deal in which many believe the Ravens scored in a big way considering these numbers and that has been proven true.

This past season in 2020, Campbell put up a decent 4, and has also put up some solid numbers with regards to tackles given the 28 he has piled up this season and 6 passes defended. As a whole, those are solid numbers for the team proving how Campbell has led by example even though he didn’t finish the season as strong. He’s also been great in the locker room as well which helps boost his value through his production.

For this reason, Campbell is one of the players that should be taken seriously as it relates to having a pulse on the team.

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