Falcons veteran free agent named fit for Eagles

NFL: OCT 15 Commanders at Falcons

The Falcons‘ single biggest weakness on the defensive side of the ball has been their pass rush, which improved last season.

Atlanta finally had money to spend in free agency, bringing in Jessie Bates, Kaden Elliss, David Onyemata, Bud Dupree, and Calais Campbell to bolster the defense. The Falcons went from one of the worst pass rushing teams to an average one.

Ryan Nielsen also played a significant role in the turnaround, but all of that momentum is on hold right now as the Falcons completely reshaped their defense. Not only is the system changing, but there will be a new sack leader.

Jimmy Lake will attempt to build off what his predecessor started, and the Falcons will have someone other than Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree lead them in sacks.

Dupree signed with the Chargers, while Campbell remains unsigned. The latter very well could return to Atlanta, but after the Falcons drafted three defensive linemen, it seems unlikely.

So much so, that ESPN named Calais Campbell a free agent fitĀ for the Eagles.

A return to Atlanta is a possibility for Campbell if he decides to play another season at age 38. He tied for the team lead in sacks last season with 6.5. But I’m instead looking at the Eagles. Campbell would fit in Vic Fangio’s 30 front as a rotational end, building more depth. At 6-foot-8 and 282 pounds, he can hold the point against the run game when matched up with offensive tackles, and he was a productive player last season for the Falcons, registering 28 pressures. I see Campbell as a total pro who could help multiple NFL squads.

A return to Atlanta would be wonderful for the Falcons, but would Calais Campbell be interested in a potentially smaller role than last year? The Falcons have more than enough bodies in David Onyemata, Grady Jarrett, Arnold Ebiketie, Zach Harrison, Lorenzo Carter, Ruke Orhorhoro, Brandon Dorlus, and Bralen Trice to take up snaps in the trenches.

Calais Campbell is better than most of those names. So, if the Falcons did re-sign the veteran, they’d be taking snaps away from their young draft picks. For a team with hopes of winning right now, it seems like a no-brainer.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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