Arizona Cardinals fans have been quite accustomed to hearing and seeing defensive end Calais Campbell play well. He has had some memorable games. He had 10 tackles and 2.5 sacks in Seattle. He blocked a key field goal against the St. Louis Rams. Most recently, against the Bengals, he had seven tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and two passes deflected.
He has been the most dominating player on the Arizona defense, yet did not make the Pro Bowl. However, Pro Football Focus has recognized his contributions all season, and has done so once again in their weekly "All-PFF Team."
Campbell was one of the two highest graded 3-4 defensive ends in Week 16. He got a +4.2, bringing him to +36.3 on the season. Said the article:
Campbell is playing as well as he ever has, and seeing his value go up and up in his contract year. Timing is everything, after all.
This is just par for the course for Campbell.
While there is no new about any specific progress with contract talks, we know that discussions continue. The fact that he has not yet made the Pro Bowl is actually good for the team because it would surely drive up the price a little bit at least and the lack of being named to it will likely keep Campbell hungry to earn that recognition.
While most of us feel it is absolutely necessary to sign him to a long-term deal, there is not complete urgency. The team will be able to use the franchise tag to at least give them more time in their negotiations. And if nothing is to happen this offseason, the franchise number for a defensive end is not as high as it once was.
Per a Mike Jurecki tweet, the salary that Campbell would earn as the team's franchise player would be $10.6 million, which is down from the $13.0 million it was this season.
With one week left in the season, we will likely be treated to one more superstar performance.