Top Free Agent Landing Spots For DL Calais Campbell

After 16 years, 244 games and four teams, does 37-year-old veteran DE Calais Campbell have another act left?

He recorded another 6.5 sacks in 2023 to push his career total to 105.5, so it seems like there’s still some gas left in the tank. Assuming Campbell wants to sign up for another season, you would expect there to be reciprocal interest from at least a handful of NFL teams. He can play in multiple schemes and has a long track record of durability, leadership and productivity, even at the tail end of his career. 

Justin Fields and Calais Campbell

It would make sense for Campbell to take his time before choosing his next course of action. He’s at the point where he doesn’t need a lot of reps in training camp to prepare for the season and would probably not be asked to be a full-time starter no matter where he signs.

One thing Campbell has yet to do over the course of his decorated career is win a Super Bowl, so that almost certainly will factor into where he decides to sign. 

Campbell, 37, is a former second-round pick of the Cardinals back in 2008. He spent nine years in Arizona before signing a four-year, $60 million contract that included $30 million guaranteed with the Jaguars for the 2017 season.

The Jaguars traded Campbell to the Ravens, who later signed him to a two-year deal worth $27 million total with $20 million guaranteed. Campbell was undecided on returning for the 2022 season and wound up signing a two-year, $12.5 million deal with the Ravens in April of 2022.

However, the Ravens released him after one season and he later signed on with the Falcons on a one-year deal for the 2023 season. 

In 2023, Campbell appeared in 17 games for the Falcons and recorded 56 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and one forced fumble.

We have him included in our Top 100 Available Free Agents list. 


In some ways, signing with the Dolphins would mark a return to where it all began for Campbell, who played at Miami before being drafted by the Cardinals all the way back in 2008. If this is his last year in the NFL, it could be a neat full-circle moment. 

The Dolphins check a few other important boxes, too. They have a major need on the defensive line after losing DTs Christian Wilkins and Raekwon Davis this offseason. New DC Anthony Weaver was Campbell’s position coach for a stint in Baltimore, so there’s a connection to provide familiarity and help recruit Campbell. Despite the roster attrition, the Dolphins should still push for a playoff spot in 2024. They also are set to get a big influx of cap space after June 1 to use on reinforcements. 


Campbell spent this past season with the Falcons, picking Atlanta over offers from other teams like the Jets and Jaguars. He did so apparently because he believed so much in the team’s playoff chances in 2023. Things are in a much better spot with the team in 2024 with new HC Raheem Morris and the signing of QB Kirk Cousins. The Falcons are preseason favorites in the NFC South, and for good reason. 

Atlanta still could use help on defense to sustain its hopes of making noise in the playoffs next winter, and Campbell would be a boost to their rotation up front. The team is implementing a new defensive scheme but that shouldn’t impact Campbell too much if he decides to return. 


Not only would signing with the Jaguars mark a return to where Campbell had some of his most productive seasons, it would keep him with DC Ryan Nielsen who ran a system that was a good match for Campbell last season. Nielsen has a background from the Saints’ system that prioritizes size and length in its defensive linemen, especially edge rushers. The 6-8, 282-pound Campbell checks both boxes emphatically.

Campbell considered signing with the Jaguars last year but ultimately picked the Falcons — probably with some assistance from the $7 million they were willing to offer. Both teams missed the playoffs but the Jaguars remain in position to win the AFC South if a couple of things break their way. One would be improving on defense and Campbell could help do that. 

Campbell would also be an interesting mentor to bring on board for former No. 1 pick Travon Walker, who’s an outstanding and massive athlete in the process of putting it all together still. 


If Campbell’s goal is to win a Super Bowl in 2024, his best bet would be signing with the Chiefs. He wouldn’t start but he’d give Kansas City another pass-rushing presence on the interior behind DT Chris Jones. There’s another connection to mine as well, as Chiefs DL coach Joe Cullen was an assistant with the Ravens while Campbell was in Baltimore. 

Looking for the latest NFL Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow NFL Trade Rumors on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NFL News and Rumors for all 32 teams!

Leave a Reply