Jets Could Make Another Run at Monster Sized Defender: Analyst

Calais Campbell, Falcons

Getty Atlanta Falcons defensive lineman Calais Campbell reacting in the middle of an NFL game.

Perhaps the second time can be the charm for the New York Jets.

Last offseason the green and white unsuccessfully attempted to recruit veteran defensive lineman Calais Campbell to New York. Connor Rogers of NBC Sports suggested that they should try again in 2024.

“I wanna go get a one-year deal and go to a Robert Saleh scheme that is very friendly toward defensive players. Especially defensive linemen. You gotta maximize your competitive advantages,” Rogers explained to Jets team reporter Ethan Greenberg. “Do you call Calais Campbell again? A guy you tried to get last year who was great for the [Atlanta] Falcons. [He] is the kind of player that [doesn’t] break the bank and [he] doesn’t break your long-term financials as well.”

Campbell is listed on the Falcons’ roster at 6-foot-8 and he weighed in at 282 pounds.

Jets Were Right in the Thick of the Recruitment for Campbell

Cambell officially joined the Falcons on March 31, 2023. A few weeks later he joined CBS NFL Insider Josina Anderson on her podcast to explain his free agent decision.

“The Jets made an almost equal offer as the Falcons. It was kind of crazy because Aaron Rodgers texted me, ‘like come on man, let’s go win a championship together.’ It was appealing having Aaron Rodgers text you talking about winning a Super Bowl together, but when it came down to it I just had this gut feeling that Atlanta was a special place. [I figured that] the value I could bring would be most effective there,” Campbell explained on “The Crew Podcast.”

Cambell ended up signing a one-year deal for $7 million fully guaranteed to join the Falcons. Based on Campbell’s wording, the Jets were competitively in that same ballpark.

The Jets and Green Bay Packers didn’t finalize the trade for Rodgers until April 25. I’ve heard from multiple free agents who admitted that they were impacted by the delay of that trade going through.

Rodgers attempted to recruit players to the Jets even though he was still on the Packers. Despite everything pointing toward an eventual deal between the Packers and Jets, there were still a lot of variables involved in a trade.

That scared off some players from signing with the Jets. In the best-case scenario, they’d be joining Rodgers in New York. However, in the worst-case scenario, they were signing up to join an unproven Zach Wilson.

The benefit of this 2024 offseason is Rodgers is already under contract and is committed to playing in 2024 and beyond.

Campbell Could Help Fill a Big Need on the Jets Defense

The Jets are set to lose essentially their entire interior defensive line depth chart. Solomon Thomas, Al Woods, and Quinton Jefferson are all set to become unrestricted free agents.

Soly and Jefferson are coming off of career sack campaigns and Woods was a dominant run defender before being lost for the year due to a torn Achilles.

New York’s defense has a sterling reputation for getting the most out of its players. Campbell would form an iconic IDL duo with Quinnen Williams that would rank among the best 1-2 punches in the NFL.

Campbell, 37, is at the tail-end of his hall-of-fame career. He has accomplished everything you can as an individual but the one thing missing from his resume is a Super Bowl ring.

Connor Rogers of NBC Sports said the Jets would be an attractive destination this offseason for veterans who are willing to sign a one-year deal to chase a ring.

Despite his advanced age, Campbell is still playing at a spectacular level. He finished last year with 6.5 sacks, 17 quarterback hits, and started in all 17 games.

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