One of the more surprising free agency signings for the Jacksonville Jaguars was former Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Calais Campbell. It wasn't a surprise the Jaguars were interested in Campbell, because he's still a really good football player even at 30, but the surprise was the Campbell wasn't tempted by some of the other teams pursuing him, including his hometown Denver Broncos.
Recently, Campbell did an interview with MMQB's Robert Klemko and gave a little bit of insight into why he ultimately chose to sign with the Jaguars.
"Young talent," Campbell told Klemko. "I looked at the roster and said, Oh, wow, this is a team that could really use a guy like me; an older vet who's been to the playoffs, been to the Super Bowl."
The first part of Campbell's comment is easy to see if you follow the Jaguars. They have young players like Telvin Smith, Yannick Ngakoue, Abry Jones and Jalen Ramsey on defense. On offense they have guys like Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns. The latter part of Campbell's comment is also pretty interesting.
One big area of criticism, which was used mostly as an excuse the past four years, is that the Jaguars were too young. They didn't have enough veterans in the locker room to help with the younger players to transition to the NFL and how common losing can be. That problem seemed to be exacerbated by a coaching staff that didn't seem to emphasize winning was of the utmost importance. Adding someone like Campbell, who is the ultimate veteran who has seen just about anything to the mix, can help flip that mentality along with head coach Doug Marrone, who made that clear in just his two games as interim head coach.
"I really liked [executive vice president] Tom Coughlin. I've always respected him from playing against his team over the years. I like the way he carries himself. His organization has always been top-notch and guys that play for him always say good things about him," Campbell continued to tell Klemko. "Then you look at what they did in free agency and I think it shows they're committed to winning. Great draft classes the last couple years, so you feel like the GM [Dave Caldwell] has the team headed in the right direction. They sign Barry Church, A.J. Bouye—big-time pickups. They're doing whatever it takes to win and I want to be a part of that."
While I'm sure money was a big time motivating factor for Campbell to sign with the Jaguars, considering the deal he got which included $30 million guaranteed, it's interesting to see the other angle that Campbell brought up in that he feels he is some of what the Jaguars are missing.