With the signing of Aaron Kampman, the Jacksonville Jaguars have filled a huge need. Kampman, who signed a 4-year $26 million dollar contract on March 7th, will address and begin to restructure the worst pass-rush in the NFL next year.
Last season with the Green Bay Packers, Kampman was switched to outside linebacker in lieu of the Pack's switch to a 3-4 defense with the arrival of new defensive coordinator Dom Capers. At times, Kampman seemed to struggle in the new defense, seeming noticeably out of place from his usual position at defensive end. At seasons' finish, his stats reflected this confusion, as Kampman had racked up 42 total tackles and 3.5 sacks, his lowest sack total since his rookie season.
Had Kampman remained in Green Bay, who knows how if numbers would have improved after a year's worth of experience in the 3-4. It seems that now, we will never know. In speaking with the press in Jacksonville, Kampman seemed to want to return to his more natural defensive end position, and I think that the Jaguars will give him every chance to move back to that spot. At DE, Kampman has made 50.5 of his 54 career sacks.
The Jaguars have said that Kampman will be there starting right end, the lead blind-side pass rusher in the 4-3 defense. This is a smart move on the part of the Jauguars, who are hoping that Kampman will continue his success that was seemingly cut short with the arrival of the 3-4 in Green Bay.
Here's my 2010 season statistical prediction for Kampman: 73 total tackles, 10.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.
If this prediction does indeed come to pass, the Jaguars will be giddy with joy about a great free agent pickup. Stats or not, Kampman will provide a much needed defensive presence for the Jags, and at 30 years old, he's got a few good years left in the tank.