NFL Free Agency: 5 Teams That Needed Jason Campbell More Than the Bears
According to Dan Pompei and Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears signed Jason Campbell on Tuesday:
The Bears announced on Tuesday that they've agreed to a one-year deal with Jason Campbell to be Cutler's backup.
Former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo thought highly of Campbell when he came out of Auburn.
This is a key move for the Bears, because Campbell has some proven success in the pros. In 2008 and 2009, he compiled over 6,800 passing yards, threw 33 touchdowns to just 21 picks and a 63.4 completion percentage during that span.
Campbell is better than advertised and was doing well in Oakland before his injury that ultimately cost him a starting role. That said, here are five teams who should have made a play for Campbell, as the Bears didn't technically need him: but now have one reliable backup.
In his first season as a full-time starter, Tarvaris Jackson threw for over 3,000 yards and had 14 touchdowns to 13 picks for the Seahawks.
This, no doubt, was an impressive display by Jackson's standards, because heading into the 2011 season it's not like he was the most hyped-up quarterback under center for a new team.
Before Seattle, though, Jackson never appeared in more than 12 games (2007) with the Vikings and completed less than 60 percent of his throws. So in short, he's not as proven of a quarterback as Campbell, despite the Seahawks not having an overly-explosive offense.
With Campbell, however, coach Pete Carroll could have taken his attack to another level. Not to mention that Seattle's receiving corps of Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Sidney Rice would be better than any group of targets Campbell has had the luxury of connecting with.
Lest we forget about tight end Zach Miller and running back Marshawn Lynch as well.
If there's one thing the Jacksonville Jaguars desperately need, it's a franchise quarterback.
Make no mistake about it, if Blaine Gabbert can get some help at the receiving position, he may display more potential than at first glance, but we can't get ahead of ourselves.
Last season, Gabbert did throw for over 2,200 yards and had 12 touchdowns to 11 picks.
Certainly not overly impressive, however, considering that the Jaguars don't have a receiver that can consistently beat single coverage, draw double coverage or stretch a defense, it's no surprise he struggled.
Jason Campbell, on the other hand, has played most of his career without any receivers considered to be an upper-echelon target.
Santana Moss, from 2006-2009 in Washington, has been the best receiver he's played with; and Moss' most recent Pro Bowl was in 2005.
Campbell would have thrived in Jacksonville because of running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
Arguably the best and most complete ball-carrier in the game, Jones-Drew managed to lead the NFL in rushing despite the Jaguars ranking dead last in passing offense.
Include a top-10 defense into the mix and, had Jacksonville made a move for Campbell, they would have easily contended for the division and AFC titles.
Last season, Matt Moore began as the backup to Chad Henne.
Then, Henne went down and Moore started the final 12 games, playing in a total of 13. On the year, Moore hit almost 2,500 yards, had 16 touchdowns to just nine picks, a 60.5 completion percentage and an 87.1 rating.
When you look at Moore's time spent with the Carolina Panthers from 2007-2010, this was quite a strong performance and certainly worthy of an opportunity to start in 2012.
That being said, Moore could use some training camp competition to up his game at least another level, and Campbell would have been the perfect addition.
Obviously, Campbell is the more experienced player, but regardless of those interested in him, a starting role would not have been a given.
Coming off an injury, Campbell does need to prove he can still sling the rock and, although Miami traded away Brandon Marshall, the Dolphins can replenish his role via the draft.
At the very least, Campbell and Moore would have made one another better and put on a strong competition.
Now it looks, though, as if Moore won't be challenged for his job, so the pressure is on him to perform.
St. Louis Rams
Whether it's because of injuries, lack of production or the need for a more well-established quarterback, the St. Louis Rams missed a golden opportunity in not pursuing Jason Campbell.
In 2011, the Rams played three quarterbacks (Sam Bradford, A.J. Feeley and Kellen Clemons), all of whom combined for 3,258 yards, nine touchdowns to 10 picks, a 53.6 completion percentage and were sacked 55 times (league high).
Now, we can't argue the sack number as the Rams' pass protection was quite abysmal, and it didn't help that none of the receivers (other than Brandon Lloyd) could get open on a consistent basis.
Still, Campbell is more mobile than any of those three, has just as strong of an arm (if not stronger), is much more accurate and, before his injury, had over 1,100 yards with six touchdowns to only four picks in a little over five games played.
Include the Rams' trade with the Redskins, with the team receiving a slew of draft picks in return for No. 2 overall selection, and St. Louis is sitting pretty in April.
Had Campbell been approached, the Rams could have had a solid opening-day starter to complement such a big acquisition of future draft selections.
Regardless of who is under center for the Cleveland Browns in 2012, Jason Campbell should have been considered for the job.
Colt McCoy has all the intangibles you want in a quarterback; he's tough, accurate, mobile and has a high football IQ. Unfortunately, McCoy has been injured on more than one occasion to a concerning enough of an extent that it's clearly affected his NFL game.
Last year, McCoy did have over 2,700 passing yards with 14 touchdowns to 11 picks before the Steelers blasted him in Week 14.
And yes, Campbell had his injury issue in 2011 as well, but he's not as prone to missing time.
McCoy came into the NFL with injury concerns and it hasn't gone away. Seneca Wallace has proven to be a reliable backup, but he's not nearly as proven as a weekly starter like Campbell.
Cleveland, without doubt, has to upgrade its receiving corps and get healthy in the backfield as well as the offensive line; but Campbell knows how to work an offense, and if the Browns were to snag him and then a top receiver in the draft, 2012 could have had potential.
John Rozum on Twitter.