Eagles Urged to Sign 3-Time All-Pro to Replace Fletcher Cox


Getty Images Nick Sirianni and the Eagles could be in the market for a veteran pass-rusher. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Eagles have a leadership and production void in the front seven after Fletcher Cox’s retirement and could follow a key strategy in GM Howie Roseman‘s playbook to fill it.

New Eagles defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has a dynamic collection of edge rushers at his disposal, following Philadelphia’s free agent addition of Bryce Huff, a renewed commitment to Josh Sweat, and the potential that Nolan Smith could make strides in his second season since being chosen in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

However, given that the Eagles appear to be actively shopping veteran edge rusher Haason Reddick, and following Cox’s retirement, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell believes Philadelphia is an ideal fit for veteran edge rusher Calais Campbell.

“Campbell suggested he might want to see what happened with former Falcons defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen,” Barnwell writes for ESPN. “After the season, Nielsen caught on with the Jaguars, but Jacksonville stumped up the cash for former 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who might be considered a younger version of Campbell at this point of his career.

“The only thing Campbell hasn’t done in his career is win a title. While his defensive line coach in Baltimore was Joe Cullen, who currently serves in that role for the Chiefs, he’s not a great fit for what Kansas City wants to do on the defensive side of the ball and what it needs to add after re-signing Chris Jones. The Eagles, on the other hand, will play a fair amount of 3-4 under Vic Fangio and need to supplement their defensive line rotation after Fletcher Cox’s retirement. You know general manager Howie Roseman doesn’t need an invitation to sign a defensive lineman.”

Campbell has produced 105.5 career sacks with 616 total tackles through his first 16 seasons that includes three All-Pro selections, including receiving First-Team recognition in 2017.

Ring chasing could be alluring for Campbell, and Roseman adding a veteran edge presence in Campbell would track with some of the organization’s moves in recent seasons.

Why Calais Campbell Fits Howie Roseman’s Profile

Roseman hasn’t been shy about adding bargain veteran free agents in recent seasons.

Ndamukong Suh played a vital role in the Eagles’ run to a Super Bowl following the 2022 season. That same year, the Eagles also added Linval Joseph off the free-agent scrap heap and into a starting caliber role along the defensive line.

The calculus, though, when it comes to potentially signing Campbell may come down to how many snaps he would potentially take away from a young player like Smith as well as how effective the organization believes Brandon Graham can be in 2024, after signing the franchise’s longest-tenured player to an extension for the upcoming campaign.

What Calais Campbell Would Bring Eagles’ Defense

Campbell would add a strong and experienced veteran presence, as a player Fangio could lean on while implementing a new system and trust to contribute quality snaps in obvious pass-rush situations, at minimum.

Last season, with the Falcons, Campbell posted 6.5 sacks with 56 total tackles as one of Atlanta’s more consistently dominant front-seven defenders.

As Pro Football Focus points out, Campbell also added 42 total quarterback pressures and was effective against the run while garnering an 80.2 run-stopping grade from the outlet.

Still playing at a high level, if the price is right, Campbell could be the type of player Roseman and the Eagles target with a small portion of the team’s remaining $39 million in cap space.

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