The answer to everything is always money.
Calais Campbell is a terrific player, arguably the best free agent defensive lineman available in 2017. And the Redskins need a boatload of help on the D-line. So it makes sense for Redskins fans to recoil when they see the news that Campbell will sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Dig a little deeper, however, and maybe the Redskins are making the right move.
Campbell, who will be 31 years old when the 2017 seasons starts, stands to be paid $14 million per year on his new deal with the Jags. That's a lot of money to an aging defensive lineman.
Make no mistake, Campbell stays in great shape. He hasn't missed a game in two years and has only missed two games in the last four years. Campbell is a stud interior lineman that can get to the quarterback and disrupt passing attacks with his 6-foot-8 frame. The Redskins pursuit of Campbell made sense.
This isn't just about age though. Couple the age with the high dollar salary, and then consider the true positional need in Washington.
For seven seasons the Redskins have run a 3-4 defensive base scheme. For the bulk of that time, the Redskins have lacked a true nose tackle. All 11 members of a defense are vital, but without a good, legitamite nose, the 3-4 has trouble standing up to the run game. That's been the case in Washington for a while.
Campbell is a great player, and an interior player, but at 272 lbs. he's not a nose. In fact, Campbell is most adept in a defensive tackle/end hybrid role. For all of their flaws, the Redskins don't lack for pressure off the edge. Could they be better? Sure, but Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Trent Muprhy, they're all good edge rushers. None of them can play nose.
The Redskins need to shell out big money for someone on the defensive line in this free agency cycle. They must. But that list doesn't end with Campbell.
Dontari Poe goes 6-foot-3, 346 lbs. Johnathan Hankins goes 6-foot-3, 320 lbs. Bennie Logan goes 6-foot-2, 310 lbs.
The Redskins need big help from a big man in the middle of their defensive line. They need more help than just that, but an anchor of that D-line isn't a want, it's a need.
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