I must have been sleeping the past couple of seasons, but did the Arizona Cardinals not just lose their best and most consistent front seven player?
Calais Campbell has been the one constant in an ever changing and shifting defense.
Bill Davis, Ray Horton, Todd Bowles and finally James Bettcher were the defensive coordinators during Campbell's transformation from a lightly used rookie to anchor of one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Campbell allowed for a smooth transition from the Dockett and Dansby defense, to the Daryl Washington and Patrick Peterson defense, to the Dansby defense, to the Deone Bucannon defense to whatever last year was.
There have been questions at literally every position on defense in his tenure, except where Campbell was lining up.
What Campbell has done for this defense is not something you find on the stat sheet, although he did average seven sacks a season despite not being a primary pass rusher. It has allowed so many other players to flash and make plays. A revolving door of players actually. Everyone that has lined up next to or behind Campbell has succeeded.
Now, I am not saying I would have paid Campbell, the contract and his age made that impossible.
However, it may be the most under discussed aspect of the 2017 Arizona Cardinals.
They no longer have the man that allowed so many others to make plays.
Can someone step into that role?
Will they sacrifice like Campbell did?
Or are we just going to ignore it?