Will Campbell's Play Change How Packers View ILB Position?

De'Vondre Campbell was a difference-maker for the Green Bay Packers defense, but did his play change how the organization views the LB position--one that the typically don't value?

As fans of the Green Bay Packers, we know that the inside linebacker position is one that the organization just does not value very highly. They certainly don't spend significant dollars on the position in free agency, and since 2006, when Green Bay drafted AJ Hawk at fifth overall, they've invested only one top-100 pick on the position--trading up for Oren Burks at pick 88 in 2018.
 
As you can imagine and have seen, with really no premium draft capital spent on the position, along with an unwillingness to spend in free agency either, linebacker has been a weakness on this Packers team for some time. What else would you expect?
 
At this point, this isn't a coincidence or anything like that--from Ted Thompson, and now to Brian Gutekunst, it's become an organizational philosophy to not put a ton of capital into the inside linebacker position. 
 
But with the addition of De'Vondre Campbell over the summer, the Packers not only found a quality linebacker to plug into their defense but a legitimate game-changer as Campbell went on to be named a first-team All-Pro. 
 
Campbell finished the season with a whopping 146 total tackles, and while that stat can be misleading, it wasn't in Campbell's case as he was always around the ball, more often than not, limiting the offensive play--these weren't hollow downfield tackles. Basically, pick a key stat, and odds are Campbell was among the best out of all linebackers.
 
By PFF's grading system, he was their second-highest graded linebacker in 2021. Campbell was sixth in solo tackles, his four missed tackles were the fewest, and his 53 stops -- or plays that result in a loss for the offense -- were tied for fourth. He also allowed just 6.8 yards per catch, the second-fewest among linebackers.
 
When given the opportunity to play the role of "Batman" within a defense, as Campbell called it, we saw a dominant three-down linebacker, who could limit pass-catchers, stick his nose in the run game, be effective as a blitzer, as well as a reliable tackler as evidenced above. I know it was a meaningless game, but just go rewatch Green Bay's Week 18 matchup with Detroit to see how much this defense missed Campbell in the middle. 
 
But now, as we turn our focus to the offseason, Campbell is, unfortunately, a free agent. Given the Packers' tight salary cap situation and him being in store for a payday, there is the very real possibility that he is playing elsewhere in 2022. However, even if that is the case, does his level of play and impact on this defense alter how the Packers as an organization few the linebacker position?
 
Ironically, Green Bay happened to find Campbell by being their same frugal selves at the linebacker position and signed him to a one-year deal worth $2 million. So if you're hoping Campbell's level of play changes Green Bay's thinking on the position, perhaps this only reinforces that they can find quality linebacker play (although finding an All-Pro shouldn't be the expectation) without a huge investment.
 
And while we are speculating, Joe Barry's background is working with linebackers, and his defensive scheme does make the job of his linebackers much easier than what Blake Martinez and Christian Kirksey had to operate under with Mike Pettine calling plays. The alignment of the defensive front does a very good job of keeping the linebackers clean, allowing them to flow with the ball and make plays. 
 
Again, perhaps this would be a reason why Green Bay continues to devalue the position--they trust Barry's defense to turn most linebackers, not into All-Pros by any means, but effective members of the defense.
 
I also want to point out that as good as Campbell was, Green Bay still finished the season 13th in points per game allowed, only one spot ahead of where they finished in 2020 without him. According to Football Outsider's DVOA metric, Green Bay's defense ranked 22nd this season and 17th a season ago. Their run defense during that span tells a similar story as well. In terms of points allowed, defensive efficiency, and run defense, the Packers finished the last two regular-seasons in similar positions both with and without Campbell--which may lead Green Bay to continue with their current ways. 
 
On the flip side, when you have a linebacker of Campbell's caliber, or at least close to it, in addition to the stats we see each week, his presence also affords Barry more flexibility in his play-calling along with what he asks other defenders to do. With Campbell, the entire defense benefited from him being on the field, both with his play but also with what he created and afforded the other defenders to do. These unique looks that Barry could utilize, in turn, allowed Campbell to make more plays.
 
I think it's safe to say we all want Campbell back next season and the one after that as well. But if he does head elsewhere, it will be interesting to see if Green Bay takes a different approach with the linebacker position, given his play and overall impact on the defense. 
 
Moving forward, would Green Bay now spend an early-round pick on the position? Would they be willing to offer more than a league-minimum deal in free agency? Or will they continue to go bargain shopping and hope they find someone who is good enough?
 

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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9 points

Comments (66)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
splitpea1's picture

January 28, 2022 at 11:20 am

You can only hope the organization has finally seen the light; devaluing the ILB position is a philosophical flaw--I don't care where they finished this season vs. last. Keep Campbell; not only is he worth it, but his physical play sets the tone for the entire defense. I doubt the Packers ever use a premium pick on the position with this front office lineage in place.

Devaluing special teams performance is also a serious philosophical flaw; it was largely responsible for playoff losses recently to SF and several years ago vs. Seattle.

So I don't know how much more evidence the organization needs to understand that both these areas need to be in good hands if the team is to be well-rounded and complete.

8 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 28, 2022 at 01:00 pm

Somewhat questionable use of the term "organization" after watching that clown show for a decade. Campbell played with the efficiency, zeal and dedication of an ALL-PRO. He earned every dollar of his contract. Bring him back onboard and draft another guy just like him by the TWO Pick in May. They need two elite guys inside.
The Sp Teams disasters dating to the 2014 Seattle debacle seems to lend credence to my first point. Spot on Splitpea1.

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PeteK's picture

January 28, 2022 at 02:31 pm

We have a solid 2nd in Barnes (81 Tkls, 2 Fr, 4PD, and 5.5 STFs) especially since we're in a one LB set often. However, another Lb in later rounds for ST would help.

1 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

January 28, 2022 at 01:02 pm

The FO needs to update their Team Construction Manual - which was last revised during the Ron Wolf era - with no apparent and significant revisions since then. I believe that Gutekunst was still operating from the outdated notion that ILBs are not a critical position - to be proven otherwise by Campbell. Let's hope this marks the start of a philosophical renaissance for Gutekunst and company - especially relative to the STs - which have been historically bad for decades.

5 points
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packerbackerjim's picture

January 28, 2022 at 11:43 am

Campbell is the best ILB since Barnett. His tackling reminded me of Ted Hendricks because of their size, engulfing their targets. Russ Ball has some difficult decisions to make, but this shouldn’t be one of them. There is no Micah Parsons in this draft.

11 points
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TheKanataThrilla's picture

January 28, 2022 at 12:30 pm

I do like Devin Lloyd out of Utah and he may be available at our #1 pick. The question is with so many other holes would you pick an ILB? The past history of not selecting Kendricks or Queen even though the fans wanted them has left many of us thinking it will be some other position.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 28, 2022 at 01:01 pm

Most have him going in the top ten.

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PeteK's picture

January 28, 2022 at 02:44 pm

Defensive tackle, can help make an ILB look really good, should be drafted high.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 28, 2022 at 03:27 pm

No doubt. Very difficult to watch Lancaster skating backwards.

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gr7070's picture

January 28, 2022 at 01:08 pm

This is ironic.

He is the best ILB we've had in some time. And yet the D still wasn't good. Like bottom 10ish bad.

Additionally ironic as Micah Parsons wasn't great at ILB-things, namely coverage. He was great at rushing the passer.

ILB not very valuable position.
# fact

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 28, 2022 at 01:03 pm

Lancaster, Lowry, Keke to start off with are questionable starters on any team's D-line. Micah Parsons plays Multiple sets as the LB for the cowpies. Quinn moves him all over the board. Do you watch their games?

2 points
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gr7070's picture

January 28, 2022 at 01:10 pm

I live in Texas. Watch their games. More importantly I read folks who know better than Buck and James Brown and other taking heads morons.

Micah Parsons was a very good player, but not at the one thing - pass coverage - that modern ILB are needs for

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 28, 2022 at 01:35 pm

https://www.nfldraftbuzz.com/Player/Darrian-Beavers-LB-Cincinnati

He might not be Micah Parsons, but I'm hoping they draft this guy late second or 3rd round...

;)

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 28, 2022 at 02:08 pm

The OLB/LB position is loaded in the upper two rounds of the upcoming draft.

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dobber's picture

January 29, 2022 at 11:16 am

Which means the Packers will be drafting pass catchers and linemen...

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PeteK's picture

January 28, 2022 at 11:51 am

It's advantageous for both that we find a way to sign Campbell. Also, obvious that in his 6th season and 3rd team he finally found a place to flourish.

11 points
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Coldworld's picture

January 29, 2022 at 08:37 am

This is Barry’s second off season with us and he’s presumably got added credibility after the improved D performance. Barry is a linebacker guy and it’s his D that Campbell was brought into and in which he thrived. I think it is perfectly possible that the attitude has changed as to the relative importance of the position and also the ideal type of ILB. Whether we can keep Campbell remains to be seen, but I think we will see a different approach to the priorities on D. How significant that is I don’t know.

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Packers0808's picture

January 28, 2022 at 11:59 am

In this case would rather see the resigning of the Defense QB over the Offense QB. Campbell goes about his business, does his job at a high level and keeps quiet and says nothing stupid! And topping on cake he has already declared he wants back next season, Rodgers nothing but play dumb!

7 points
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jhtobias's picture

January 28, 2022 at 12:21 pm

I would have to say Campbell is priority 1 to retain. Truth is Rodgers might be gone or even a good chance he is time has run its course with both sides. Devante is gonna demand 25million plus and if for some reason they can tag him he isn't going to sign his tag.

Philosophy needs to change defense first and hope Love is capable like a Jimmy G.

8 points
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BruceC1960's picture

January 28, 2022 at 01:24 pm

If bringing Rodgers back means you are unable to sign Campbell, does this effect your decision on bring Rodgers back?

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jhtobias's picture

January 28, 2022 at 02:55 pm

Fair question. If Rodgers comes back I would truly be shocked.

To answer your question if Rodgers is back guaranteeadams is back so I have no idea lol

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BruceC1960's picture

January 28, 2022 at 04:17 pm

I get what you’re saying…I don’t see a way that Rodgers & Adams both come back. Our roster would be unrecognizable.

1 points
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PhantomII's picture

January 28, 2022 at 10:13 pm

Adams is slippery and has great hands. He does not have Elite speed though and most QB's are not as accurate as AR and are not able to keyhole passes to a completely covered WR with any comfort in doing it. DA is a next level WR w/ AR...I don't think he's quite the same without....Nor is AR.

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gr7070's picture

January 28, 2022 at 12:36 pm

No. It won't change their view. Nor should it.

The Packers view ILB as the least important position in the D. And it is. And therefore get far less resources.

DI, Edge, CB, S are all easily more valuable positions, and thus treated that way by the Packers.

Additionally, and anecdotally, Campbell should reinforce their view! They had a top couple ILB and still finished with a bottom 10 D.

ILBs are vastly less valuable. They're the FB of the D.

-9 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 28, 2022 at 01:05 pm

How's your recovery from the season of "purple pain" over @ the Shipwreck??

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gr7070's picture

January 28, 2022 at 01:13 pm

Is that to suggestion I'm a Vikings fan? I don't recognize those terms.

Not sure how being an intelligent Packers fan, recognizing modern NFL positional value, would make one a Vikings fan.

2 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

January 28, 2022 at 01:44 pm

"recognizing modern NFL position value..." (That makes you anything but a viks fan...) ; P

Although I disagree with our FO that ILBers should be ignored for a decade too...

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 28, 2022 at 02:13 pm

The 49rs offense seems to thrive when their ALL PRO Fullback, Kyle Juszczyk is on the field.

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dobber's picture

January 29, 2022 at 11:51 am

Dafney is the closest thing the Packers have to Juszczyk. Deguara is looking a lot like Richard Rodgers 2.0.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 29, 2022 at 01:29 pm

They need to play to Deguara's strengths. Watched him for three years at Cincinnati. Andy Reid would use him correctly, put it that way. Alec Ingold was there for the taking, right in their backyard. An UDFA for Gruden and started right off the bat. Chip and go for the pass to the FB in the red zone--use it LaFleur

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

January 28, 2022 at 02:45 pm

I concur. So you have a plan which is pretty long standing ....since 2007 or so, of not spending premium resources on ILBs, and now you're going to change the plan because a guy had a good year?

I don't think that's how decisions are made about the future in half billion $$ organizations.

I'd love to have Campbell back. I liked Martinez. I've seen guys in the draft I like. But I just do not think this position is a priority for this organization and so I accept that.

I think the Packers would like to line up 3 DL, two Edge guys,5 DBs and Superman. If we can get Superman, maybe. Otherwise, I doubt it.

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 28, 2022 at 03:29 pm

Did the Bears hire Wolf's kid?

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13TimeChamps's picture

January 28, 2022 at 03:53 pm

"They had a top couple ILB and still finished with a bottom 10 D."

How is #9 a bottom 10 defense in a 32 team league?

https://www.footballdb.com/stats/teamstat.html?group=D&cat=T

1 points
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gr7070's picture

January 28, 2022 at 05:04 pm

"How is #9 a bottom 10 defense in a 32 team league?"

When you don't use a laughably antiquated assessment as yards per game.

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/nfl/team-defense/2021/regular?ch...

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13TimeChamps's picture

January 28, 2022 at 07:19 pm

How about points per game? Is that antiquated also? 21.8, which puts them in the top 12.

I guess I'm just old school. Give up less yards than the league average, while also giving up less points than the league average, while winning 13 games in the process, hardly makes you a bottom 10 defense. By the way...this bottom 10 defense gave up a whopping 2 field goals, barely 200 yds and 12 FDs in their playoff loss.

But you stick to your metrics. You know...the adjusted defensive performance when playing against a team with x number of wins, with the wind blowing out of the NW at more/less than 15 mph and a squirrel runs onto the field, and blah, blah, blah

4 points
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calabasa's picture

January 28, 2022 at 01:30 pm

Interesting article- you have persuaded me that we don’t need to re-sign our all-pro ILB.

-7 points
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HarryHodag's picture

January 28, 2022 at 01:54 pm

Apparently the author forgot about Blake Martinez, who in his final season in Green Bay recorded 155 tackles. second most that season in all of the NFL. He left in 2019 to sign a $30 million dollar free agency contract with the New York Giants. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Packers. and wasn't in the "Top 100', but close.

0 points
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Leatherhead's picture

January 28, 2022 at 02:55 pm

I've watched our linebackers since Nitschke. During the Long Dry Spell, we had quite a few decent ILBs who couldn't stay healthy enough to play. I remember when we took Barnett in 2003 and he was an upgrade over Hardly Worthanickelson and Bishop, who played one good year for us. We took Hawk, initially as a 4-3 linebacker, and moved in him inside. We played Matthews inside briefly. And we took a lot of guys that never amounted to squat at that position, mostly Day 3 guys.

Out of all of them, I thought Martinez was the best. He stayed healthy enough to play and he made a lot of tackles, which are essential.

The author's point, that this franchise doesn't place a premium value on this position, is correct, IMO. I think that we'll make due in the middle and strengthen other areas, like the front five and the secondary. It'll be Barnes and somebody else.

-1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

January 28, 2022 at 02:55 pm

I've watched our linebackers since Nitschke. During the Long Dry Spell, we had quite a few decent ILBs who couldn't stay healthy enough to play. I remember when we took Barnett in 2003 and he was an upgrade over Hardly Worthanickelson and Bishop, who played one good year for us. We took Hawk, initially as a 4-3 linebacker, and moved in him inside. We played Matthews inside briefly. And we took a lot of guys that never amounted to squat at that position, mostly Day 3 guys.

Out of all of them, I thought Martinez was the best. He stayed healthy enough to play and he made a lot of tackles, which are essential.

The author's point, that this franchise doesn't place a premium value on this position, is correct, IMO. I think that we'll make due in the middle and strengthen other areas, like the front five and the secondary. It'll be Barnes and somebody else.

0 points
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PhantomII's picture

January 28, 2022 at 10:27 pm

He made that many tackles because the DL leaked them to him. The DL is still the main issue. Clark played much better this year. I liked Blake also, but he was not a 10 mill. LB. Campbell was the best ILB player in 20 yrs. on the Packers.

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

January 29, 2022 at 08:42 am

Campbell is a very different type of ILB than Martinez or Hawk. The role as played this year has much more emphasis on coverage.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 29, 2022 at 01:33 pm

Correct, he's faster, stronger and looks to be more intense.

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mbpacker's picture

January 28, 2022 at 02:08 pm

He is a keeper!

4 points
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skyler's picture

January 28, 2022 at 02:34 pm

Campbell is a rare find. AJ Hawk is not even close to Campbell in how the position is played. Number of tackles are misleading, Hawk had a lot each year. How you play the position is the most important, hence his PFF Grade. I will bet under this system he will be in the top 15 (PFF grade) for years to come. We would be crazy not to resign him. The best FA find for the money in 20 years. Another example of excellence by Gute and Staff.

9 points
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Leatherhead's picture

January 28, 2022 at 02:57 pm

Don't dismiss the value of tackles. When nobody makes a tackle, that's usually a TD. A tackle is a play. And Hawk made those tackles because he stayed on the field, which is another underappreciated quality.

Do I want guys on my defense that can stay on the field and make tackles? Hell yeah.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 28, 2022 at 03:33 pm

But keep him off special teams, like his whiffs in the Seattle debacle.

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relleum61's picture

January 28, 2022 at 06:26 pm

That was a bit of an unfair shot. Hawk was caught in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation and he had to guess. Both the pass and the run were available to the Seahawk ball carrier because of the putrid scheme the punt team had on that play. Hawk guessed wrong, thus starting the snowball down the hill. Thanks for reminding me of that play...now I will have to re-grow that scab all over again:(

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 29, 2022 at 01:39 pm

Neal and House contributed, no doubt. Rub some dirt on it and have a beer, all will be well.

0 points
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greengold's picture

January 28, 2022 at 08:13 pm

I believe priority & importance of ILB has changed drastically since Joe Barry, a legit ILB guru, became our DC. Please, yes, re-sign Campblell!

Add to that, the Packers have severely neglected the interior DL since taking Kenny Clark. Premium players there help keep the LBs free to make plays. Gotta say, TJ Slaton was a pure gem of a pick, and I think we got a steal taking him in R5 last year. The staff worked him in very slowly early on we through the halfway mark of last season. He seemed to embrace getting more snaps, and came in with one of the most Pro ready body sizes in his class. That helped him. I’d like to see them add one or more difference makers to help more than Lowry & Lancaster. We need more run stop up front, besides Clark.

Ted was wrong on ILB importance IMO, and think back to wanting him to take Eric Kendricks instead of the S Damarious Russell. Imagine… wow. Huge miscue there.

Bringing back Campbell and adding more solid DTs/NTs to rotate would be a big plus moving forward.

ILB might be more important now in GB under Barry. I’m all for it.

6 points
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Rossonero's picture

January 29, 2022 at 10:16 am

The miss on Kendricks was really frustrating. We had such a gaping hole at ILB after the 2014 season when Hawk was on his last legs and Brad Jones was a FA too....so Ted reached and took a safety that isn't even in the league anymore while Kendricks is a Pro Bowler / All-Pro and probably will lock down the middle for 10 years in Minnesota. Arggh.

1 points
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dobber's picture

January 29, 2022 at 01:48 pm

I'd almost completely forgotten about Brad "dumb penalty" Jones.

0 points
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canadapacker's picture

January 28, 2022 at 08:34 pm

Teams dont win without some presence at Linebacker position - especially inside when you are playing a 3-4 . Yes both Smiths can rush the passer - But they cant run. We have always prided ourselves in tackling machines - TT drafted Hawk and he tackled - but 2 yards after a first down. The same as recently with Blake lots of tackles but always a little late. Big thing - they couldnt run. They also couldnt really fill the hole - Warner, Kendricks Leonard Wagner Chicago's R Smith - those are the established guys. We need speed plus tackling prowess - and that needs to be paramount. Parsons from Dallas is the newer style - You need to stop those jet sweeps and wide receiver screens and that requires speed and tackling. As long as the Dline plays like it did mostly this past year - the focus needs to be on Douglass type of players.

5 points
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greengold's picture

January 28, 2022 at 09:12 pm

Spot on, Canada. Spot on.

0 points
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Rossonero's picture

January 29, 2022 at 12:25 pm

Great points made here, especially with how offenses are evolving, so too do the types of defensive players that we'll need.

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BAMABADGER's picture

January 28, 2022 at 10:35 pm

We still need another aggressive speed ILB in the GA, Bama mold. This requires using at a high draft pick or trade. In addition, we need another athletic run stopping, pass rushing DL to help Clark. The D will be set.

2 points
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Oppy's picture

January 29, 2022 at 04:24 am

When the Packers moved from a 4-3 to a 3-4, they valued the ILB position enough that they took their bell-cow 4-3 OLB and transitioned him to ILB. The issue is that Packers fans still don't understand the roles of the two ILB's in a 3-4 that have different jobs to do. Packers fans actually don't value ILB play; when they have a guy like Martinez or Hawk, they can't wait to get rid of him.

Campbell's season was fantastic, and I think he should be retained if possible, although at what price is the question. He had a fantastic, outlier season. He isn't a spring chicken. Tread carefully in those contract waters.

As to special teams, the revisionist history of Packers fans never ceases to amaze me. Ted Thompson put a lot of value in special teams. He would reserve valuable roster spots specifically for guys who were exceptional special teamers each year, and the fan base couldn't have been more vocal about what a waste of roster spots they were. I understand that the emphasis didn't result in strong special teams play unfortunately, but the intent was there and the message was clear, TT valued special teams play. That came from his own personal experience as a back up line backer who carved out a long career in the NFL because of his own value on special teams.

Most football fans were like Corey Behkne before the STs play was horrid- they didn't care one bit about special teams and didn't consider them real football players. Now, all of the sudden, the witch hunt is on because the Packers don't value special teams. The hypocrisy is astounding.

1 points
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Houndog's picture

January 29, 2022 at 08:12 am

Oppy,
"He isn't a spring chicken. Tread carefully in those contract waters".
*********************************************************
De'Vondre Campbell is 28 years old.
Maybe not a spring chicken, but he's a hell of a distance from antique!

1 points
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Oppy's picture

January 29, 2022 at 12:46 pm

He is at the final contract stage for a linebacker. This is the age at which LB'ers typically have already peaked, and are starting to decline. Typically by 30 they are are in rapid decline.

The point I'm getting at is Campbell's best years are likely behind him, and the amazing 2021 season that he had may well be the best he'll ever have. I believe you have to offer him a contract that is based more around his production prior to 2021, as opposed to what he accomplished in 2021.

MAybe his base pay is figured by looking at his play from 2017-2020, and you give him performance based incentives that give him the opportunity to make more money- even big money - if he performs at the level he played at in 2021.

Between the factors of age and the uncharacteristic level of play in 2021, I just think the Packers need to be careful.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 29, 2022 at 01:44 pm

Especially guys like Bostic...

0 points
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Houndog's picture

January 29, 2022 at 07:50 am

Ted Thompson was an NFL linebacker, a second string linebacker, so maybe he was partial to second stringers.
Brian Gutekunst is a Ted Thompson disciple and will likely stick with his mentors ill-advised path in going bargain-basement, and that's too bad for us.
Sure, you can tout Barry's system for Campbell's contribution and blame Pettine for what came before, but I don't buy it.
The D-Backs still play back, 7-8 yds off the line on every play, giving up too many 'automatic' yards with nearly every snap, not so different from Pettine's system.
The difference this year was the performance of a quality starter, Campbell!
Keep Campbell, add a quality D-Backs coach (Charles Woodson comes to mind), and we'll be even better.

1 points
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stockholder's picture

January 29, 2022 at 08:01 am

Tramon Williams is a good choice too..

1 points
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dobber's picture

January 29, 2022 at 10:16 am

Campbell's skipped around the league and had not played this well since early in his time in Atlanta. In the end you have to ask yourself why Campbell flourished in GB? Right scheme/usage? Right supporting cast? Right coaches? Right mindset? Did the Packers catch lightning in a bottle or is this something they can expect to continue? The point that can't be ignored is that even though Campbell was really good, by most measures this defense was not markedly better than it was last year.

It's possible the Packers may look at this and say, "go get a big contract and get us a comp pick, and we'll look for the next DeVondre Campbell." I don't know that this discourages them from changing their habits and continuing to scour the scrap heap for reclamation projects at ILB going forward.

2 points
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Rossonero's picture

January 29, 2022 at 12:32 pm

I think they missed him in the Detroit game. Granted, a lot of guys were out, but a light bulb went off with him this season in Joe Barry's scheme. As far pinning it down to one root cause, it's probably a combination of the factors that you listed.

Considering the fact that he bounced around the league and now played extremely well in one season, that might dampen the amount he may get offered. He'll also turn 29 in July.

You make a valid point in that the Packers may just seek to take advantage of any comp picks they can gobble up since they know the roster is going to take some severe cuts. Despite all that, I'd love to see Campbell come back for another 2-3 years. We've waited so long to have someone like him, and he is a difference maker.

1 points
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dobber's picture

January 29, 2022 at 02:03 pm

I agree: the Packers need someone like Campbell (or two Campbells).

But if even if ARod is shipped out and there's some money there, I don't think they sign him unless they pull a magic rabbit out of their hats and locate a playoff caliber QB in March or as part of the deal. That will be hard to do. If you're reworking the roster, find the guys on your roster who will be stalwarts in the next window (3-5 years from now), lock them up, and call open season on all the other roster spots. It's a big ask to expect Campbell to be a stalwart 3 years from now.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 29, 2022 at 01:55 pm

A bird in hand is worth two in the Bush.

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dobber's picture

January 29, 2022 at 02:05 pm

"A bird in hand is worth two in the Bush."

Devin or Reggie?

If they're leaving the current window, chucking salary at a guy who likely isn't part of your next window just makes it harder to get to the next window.

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