Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell isn't ready to announce his retirement just yet, but he's preparing as if 2022 will be his last pro season.
Campbell made the remarks on NFL Network's Inside Training Camp Live (h/t Nick Shook of NFL.com):
"I'm in a place right now where I'm just taking it this year. I know I've got this year in me. I don't know if there's anything left after that, but I'm going to leave it all on the field, empty the tank, and when it's all said and done, after this year, I'll reconvene in the offseason to see where I'm at. But right now, I'm preparing like this is my last year. So, I'm going to give it everything I have."
Campbell is a six-time Pro Bowler who has suited up for the Arizona Cardinals (2008-2016), Jacksonville Jaguars (2017-2019) and Ravens over a 15-year career. He's amassed 773 tackles and 93.5 sacks, including a career-high 14.5 for the 2017 Jags.
That season resulted in his lone All-Pro team honor as well as Defensive Player of the Year awards from Sporting News and the PFWA.
Campbell also won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in Feb. 2020.
Campbell could be calling Canton, Ohio home someday thanks to a resume worthy of significant Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration, but for now, he's trying to help the Ravens bounce back from an 8-9 season.
He had a down statistical year by his lofty standards last season (49 tackles, 1.5 sacks), but that doesn't tell the true story.
In reality, he was called on to be a stalwart of the defensive line. That team endured numerous injuries (e.g. Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters and Derek Wolfe), and Campbell did the dirty work all year. Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus ranked him as the No. 86 player in football last year:
"The Ravens’ defense was ravaged by injuries this season, but Campbell still played more than 600 snaps at 35 years old. He had a better season than a year ago, improving his run-defense grade to 77.9 and racking up 31 pressures. Campbell’s best play might finally be behind him, but he is still an excellent defender."
After the season, Campbell squashed any retirement talk and noted that he wanted to keep playing. He had clearly proved his worth in 2021, and the Ravens re-signed the offseason free agent to a two-year deal worth up to $16.5 million.
Now he's back in the mix in Baltimore, which has seen some changes on the defensive side of the ball. At defensive coordinator, Wink Martindale is out, and Michael Macdonald is in.
The Ravens added an infusion of talent through the draft in Kyle Hamilton, David Ojabo and Travis Jones, among others. Baltimore also beefed up the secondary with Marcus Williams and Kyle Fuller through free agency, among other moves.
The new-look Ravens will still have a stout veteran in Campbell on the defensive line, though. Baltimore will kick off the season by visiting the New York Jets.