The Atlanta Falcons are closing in on a one-year deal with free agent defensive end Calais Campbell, the latest in a series of moves to bolster a moribund defense, ESPN and NFL Network reported Wednesday.
Campbell, 36, was released by the Baltimore Ravens earlier this month in a cost-cutting move. The Ravens, who cleared $6.5 million in cap space, were hoping to re-sign Campbell on a lesser deal.
Instead, Campbell will take his six Pro Bowls and 99 career sacks to a team that has vastly improved its defense in free agency. The Falcons also added safety Jessie Bates III, defensive tackle David Onyemata and linebacker Kaden Elliss. Further, the Falcons own the No. 8 pick in the upcoming draft.
The Falcons ended 2022 ranked 23rd in the NFL in scoring defense (22.7) and 27th in total yards per game (362.1).
Campbell had 36 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 14 starts for the Ravens last season.
A 2017 All-Pro, Campbell was named to the Hall of Fame's All-2010s team.
Campbell was a second-round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2008. He played for the team through the 2016 season then signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a free agent.
The Jaguars traded him to the Ravens in March 2020 for a fifth-round draft pick.
In 227 career games (208 starts), Campbell has 809 tackles (165 for loss), 237 quarterback hits, 99 sacks, three interceptions, 57 passes defensed, 16 forced fumbles and 12 fumble recoveries.
--Field Level Media