Calais Campbell knows he’s running out of time in the National Football League — no matter how well his on-field play is.
The defensive lineman, who will be 34-years-old on September 1 this year, has played in one Super Bowl. That was in 2009, at the conclusion of his rookie season, when the Cardinals narrowly lost to the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII.
Campbell has never played another game in February since.
Acquired by the Ravens from the Jaguars right before free agency began two weeks ago, there were a few teams chasing after the 6-foot-8 defensive force. The only way he’d end up in Baltimore was if he’d take less than he’d get elsewhere. So he did.
“My agent wasn’t too happy about that because he thought I could’ve got a whole lot more a different way,” Campbell quipped. “But I told him, ‘At this point in my career, the main goal for me is winning.’”
Campbell signed an extension for one year, worth $10 million after being traded to the Ravens for a fifth-round pick.
He spoke highly of both Lamar Jackson and coach John Harbaugh and is well aware of the winning culture the Ravens have not only recently, but in the past as well.
Campbell attended Miami (Fla.) and looked up to former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis as a player and, he said, a friend. That’s the historic part. Presently, he’s got a very young roster that figures to be better, on paper, in 2020. It gives him one of the best chances he’s got to win a Super Bowl before he hangs up his cleats.
“I was more confident going to Baltimore, even if I had to take less than going to another place,” Campbell said. “There's not too many teams better. I mean, Baltimore was 14-2 last year. It's a very talented young team, core nucleus of guys.”
While Campbell is now the fourth-oldest player on the roster, he hasn’t shown a sign of slowing down, either.
He hasn’t missed a game since 2014 and has played in a total of 186 games out of a possible 192.
Still, he’s well aware of the fact that his time is limited in the NFL.
And even though he might not be around for the entirety of Jackson’s career, or even some of the younger defenders on the roster, Campbell is comfortable with the money he left on the table to join the Ravens.
In the end, the opportunity to chase a ring was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
“This team could be very special for a good while here,” Campbell began. “And so I wanted to throw my hat in the ring and really just try to add value where I can.”
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