Calais Campbell takes significant pay cut from Falcons salary

NFL: OCT 15 Commanders at Falcons

The Falcons decided to bolster their pass rush in the form of three rookies, taken in the second, third, and fourth rounds of the NFL Draft.

Terry Fontenot traded up in the second for Ruke Orhorhoro, then Bralen Trice in the following round, and Brandon Dorlus as a fourth-rounder. Ironically, most of the excitement surrounds Dorlus.

Other than that, the Falcons are relying on Grady Jarrett to return from his ACL injury, David Onyemata, and a few youngsters taking big steps like Arnold Ebiketie and Zach Harrison.

It’s not exactly an inspiring unit on paper, and bringing in a proven veteran pass rusher would’ve gone a long way. The hope among Falcons fans was that, at the very least, the club would be able to retain its sack leader from last season in Calais Campbell.

The 37-year-old led the Falcons with 6.5 sacks in his 16th season while also crossing the 100-sack threshold for his career. The veteran finished with 56 tackles, 10 for a loss, and 17 quarterback hits along with those 6.5 sacks.

Campbell very clearly still has some left in the tank and seemingly had a standing offer from the Falcons because Raheem Morris confirmed as much at the owner’s meetings in Orlando.

“I talked to him about what my vision was and where it could potentially go. I’ll let him tell you what he’s going to do. I look forward to getting a chance to sit in front of him because he’s certainly as impressive as it gets,” Morris said.

With a group of extremely green defensive linemen, Campbell’s veteran presence would’ve been invaluable. However, as the offseason progressed, it seemed more and more likely that Campbell would ride off into the sunset of retirement until news broke last week that he was signing with the Miami Dolphins.

Now, the details reveal that he’s taken a significant pay cut from his salary with the Falcons last year. Per Over The Cap, Campbell’s deal with the Dolphins is for the veteran minimum.

For a guy who still clearly has some production left in the tank, that’s an absolute steal and makes the loss sting that much more for the Falcons, who were paying Calais Campbell more than seven times that number a year ago.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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