Campbell’s potential game of tag

Posted by Darren Urban on January 23, 2012 – 2:09 pm

Defensive end Calais Campbell has not gotten a new contract yet. I’m guessing everyone realizes that, since it’d be big homepage news if he had and it clearly has not been news yet. The waiting game continues.

He is scheduled to become a free agent March 13, but no one believes that will happen. Either he will have a new contract by then, or the Cardinals are expected to use their franchise tag to buy time to get that new contract done. Campbell was in today, coming in to get in some work with the trainers, and he said he has thought “a little bit” about ending up with the tag.

“I mean, if that’s the worst-case scenario, it’s not too bad,” Campbell said. “The only thing that kind of sucks about it is that you don’t have security for the future. But I am one of those guys who kind of takes it as it comes. Whatever happens, happens. A long-term deal would be nice, if we can see eye-to-eye. But if it comes to the franchise tag, I really feel like it’s good. I’m still able to play football, I’m still living the dream.”

The franchise tag would be worth about $10.6 million in salary for Campbell in 2012 (down from the $13M defensive ends got last season if tagged, and $12.4M in 2010.) It’s a healthy jump from $600,000 in salary Campbell made this season, but a far cry from what would be the guaranteed money on a new deal, which would figure to be in the same $25M-$30M range of teammate Darnell Dockett got in 2010.

Still, the seven weeks between now and March 13 is an eternity in NFL terms. Much can still be accomplished before the tag comes into play. We wait to see if “eye-to-eye” can be reached.

Posted in Blog | 52 Comments »

52 Responses to “Campbell’s potential game of tag”

  1. By Paul on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Calais Campbell: The only player in the NFL to make a kicker miss just by suggesting he’d block it… in a game he’s not even playing:!/Campbell93/status/161290306749341696

  2. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Paul —

    RE: Campbell tweet

    One issue — Campbell’s tweet was at the end of the SF game, before the Giants’ game-winning kick. Not the Ravens game

  3. By Chris Robot on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Pay that man. Realistically, he is better to me than Dockett and he is still so young that he can grow further.

  4. By Travis on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    We need him! Why is it taking so long? This guy should be in the pro bowl(for years to come for that matter) pay the man

  5. By Andrew on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Lets get this done so we can keep campbell. do what it takes to get the job done.

  6. By SteveG on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Time was this was the “soon to be gone” dance that was played out way too often in the “Sun Devil stadium”days.

    Based on RECENT history, this will be worked out, especially as Calais has chosen to be a business man about the deal, and not a carnival barker as has been the case with some in the past.

    If we are to compete in the new tougher 49’er driven NFC West (That is a GOOD team, regardless of personal feelings), we are going to need every all pro caliber player we can get our hands on.

  7. By G. Witt on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t see what the problem is Cardinals, Calais is worth the money. He has proven it by his exceptional play.
    So sign him to a nice multi year contract, He certainally deserves it.

  8. By Rich on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Do you think the Cards would consider trading Kerry Rhodes for a mid round draft pick… make some cap room for Calais? If they resign Rashad and draft a safety (with ADub and Marschall and other depth) they’d have a solid secondary and gain some space to spend on the big lineman.

  9. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Rich —

    RE: Cap room

    They don’t need cap room. That’s not an issue.

  10. By Javier Montoya on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Hope So! Outstanding Athlete. We let core players go and it hurt us.. although our youth has developed great on D, including C.C., it hurts waiting for a year or 2 developing players..

  11. By wheres 9-0? on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    darren, do players get upset about being “tagged”? it seems to me like players usually don’t want to play for that team anymore after being “tagged.

  12. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    wheres 9-0?

    RE: Tagged

    Everyone would rather have a long-term deal. Upset is relative. They get upset when the team they are with won’t give them as much money as they want. The tag is just a by-product of that.

  13. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    So Calais, the $10,600,000 that comes in ONE year with the franchise tag doesn’t equal security for the future??? It would take a person making $50K a year 212 YEARS to make $10.6 million. C’MON MAN!!!

    Calais is a humble man and one of my favorite Cards, but way out-of-touch with the ordinary working man (but then so are 99% of pro athletes).

  14. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Ottis —

    RE: Security

    I’m going to give you a comon man in this case. Obviously on a base level you are right. But put yourself in his shoes. $10 million is great, but if you knew you should be getting $30M — and there was a chance you could get hurt waiting and you wouldn’t get it then — you’d feel the same way. Not fair to say “out of touch” because that is their world. And obviously the “ordinary man” is OK with that, because it is the ordinary man’s thirst for this game that makes these guys get these contracts.

  15. By D on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    I think he has justified that he is worth more than Dockett considering his special team play…DD will just have to live with his buddy making the crazy dough

  16. By D on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Can’t compare common man vs pro players, your not sacking qb’s or blocking kicks, and I am not paying $75 per ticket to watch you sit at your work..

  17. By Andy on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Is it true that Hue Jackson is being looked at for being the qb coach?

  18. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Andy —

    RE: Hue Jackson

    He is expected to get an interview.

  19. By Mike Ellingboe on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply


    I agree with a lot of what you said to Ottis, but it’s not the ordinary man who’s coming up with the money to pay someone $10 million a year. Put that one on the corporatization of America/billion dollar TV contracts, and the luxury suites all owners insist on having. No ordinary man is watching the games from there.

  20. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Mike Ellingboe —

    RE: Trickle down

    I get what you are saying, but in the end, it’s all about the ordinary man. Is O.M. (ordinary man) sitting in suites? No. But the advertising and eyeballs is what makes these networks willing to pay so much for TV rights. And the advertising and eyeballs are designed for/owned by OM. Ordinary man is watching. If he wasn’t, the rest of this would fade away, or at least be much less lucrative.

  21. By Chuck 1 on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply


    What are Hue Jackson’s qualifications to be a QB Coach?

  22. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Chuck 1 —

    RE: Hue Jackson

    Other than being a head coach, offensive coordinator or QB coach for the vast majority of the last 20 years? QB coach in Baltimore 2008 and 2009 before moving to Raiders as OC in 2010.

  23. By azfancolo on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Hey D that was funny!!!

  24. By mikeal on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Great call Ottis! I was just about to make a similar comment and you beat me to the punch. Adequate response Darren. Your correct, it more or less comes down to the individual, just ask Don Draper. I love football and calais is a hell of a guy i’m sure, but it does seem like its getting out of hand with comments like this one and people are starting to pay attention and understand. Thanks for keeping the discussion alive Darren. Go Cards!

  25. By Mike Ellingboe on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply


    Likewise, I get what you’re saying (and agree with it) but the ordinary man is the same guy who went to the games back in the 70’s, long before the business world and their world-wide cable networks did. We weren’t funding any multi-million dollar deals back then without their involvement.

    But your point, yes, we are the ones sitting on our collective asses watching anything and everything that comes with those 1000+ channels.

  26. By Scott H on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    I really do hope this deal will get done. They put the tag on Dansby for a couple of seasons and he was clearly not happy about that. As much as he appeared to be all about the money more than anything else, I wonder if the Cardinals slapping that tag on him instead of committing to him for a long term deal only made him want to get outta here at the first moment possible.

    This team has a way of dragging things out…hope Campbell is a different story. The kid is a beast. And it looks like he is just getting ready to hit his prime years. The time seems perfect to make this his home going forward.

  27. By Scott H on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t know why we expect pro ahteletes to be “in touch” with the common man. Clearly, they are not. They exist in a world of short careers and salary ranges that are NOT part of the world that the common man lives in. I am not in touch with the world they live in…why should I expect that they are in touch with mine?

  28. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Is this going to be Karlos Dansby reincarnated?
    Why can’t the team bite the bullet now and give him a Dockett-like contract instead of peeing away the money a little at a time?

    Darren, wasn’t Dansby one year contracts more expensive than what they would have probably paid if they had signed him the first opportunity?

  29. By Darren Urban on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Dansby

    In the end, yes. Let’s not forget either that the Cards and Karlos’ agent had come to a long-term contract agreement, only to have Karlos scotch it at the last minute. Worked out well for Dansby, obviously.

    And before we start taking sides, until we know what the Cards are offering and what Campbell is asking, tough to make a judgement. Maybe the Cards are trying to keep it too low. But maybe Calais’ agent is asking for him to be the highest-paid DE in the league. Who knows why it hasn’t gotten done yet?

  30. By raul on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    darren what you think about the new cards unis.

  31. By Darren Urban on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    Raul —

    RE: Uniforms

    Those aren’t real. From what I understand, the difference in the Cards’ uniforms this season going from Reebok to Nike will be hard to even see.

  32. By Phoenixraven1 on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Sign him fast!!!

  33. By OLDude on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Darren: What you said to Ottis and Mike is spot on and I would like to add…..the OM needs to understand that it IS OM that provides the “eyeballs” both at home on TV and in the stands that justifies the advertising dollars that provide so much of the income for the NFL. It is also the OM who should realize that the shortened season this year was a fight between owners and players over how to fairly split the 9billion per annum which is largely the result of OM’s “thirst” for the game. Om should also remember that the next time there is such a threat to the game they so enthusiastically follow – OM also has the power to boycott those games and bring those players and owners back to earth in the same way We the People brought change and reconsideration to SOPA and PIPA through unified action.

  34. By Darren Urban on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    OLDude —

    RE: OM “boycott”

    Yeah, let me know when that happens.

    The TV ratings for the playoff games this past weekend shattered records. It’s like the lockout never happened. Fans don’t have any lingering anger — or at least, they don’t have enough to make them ever boycott.

  35. By georgiebird on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    When Larry was negotiating last year, much was said about the QB situation. Now, Cardinal fans have to realize that everyone signing with the Cardinals wants to know about the QB situation. If Calais can make similar (or more) money with another team and then, also have a chance at the playoffs, why should he sign with the Cardinals.
    If people on this site have become so optimistic after an 8-8 season maybe CC’s people do not share the same euphoria.
    As we will see, the botch job that the Whiz has done on the QB situation the past two years will have its collateral damage.

  36. By Darren Urban on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    georgie —

    RE: CC contract

    If you think the QB situation has anything to do with Campbell’s negotiations, then you know a lot less than you think you do.

    This is about money. That’s all, and that’s all it is ever about.

  37. By Chuck 1 on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply


    Being a QB coach obviously qualifies him.
    But, OC? NO.
    Head Coach? Definitely, NO.

    Sorry if I didn’t research his background.

  38. By Mike Ellingboe on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    @Scott H,

    I can’t say for 100% certainty, but if my memory is correct we offered Dansby a long-term contract a few times before settling on franchising him. I know I remember reading that he seemed very intent on testing the market after watching Pace get wined and dined throughout the league when his contract was up. Maybe Darren will chime in on this, but I don’t think we can pin Dansby’s departure on the FO dragging his situation out.

  39. By cdubbbbb on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    Despite the beast CC is turning into… He still isn’t as good of a DE as Dockett and we cannot afford to overpay him. When looking at his situation, you have to factor in more then just his production. You have to take into consideration that most of CCs oppertunities are a result of Dockett commanding so much attention on the other side of the line. He was the most double teamed D Lineman in the NFC. Then take into account the NT also usually commands a double team, then you realize CC is often facing a single blocker which makes his production more or less, average. One positive thing is his ability to block FGs.

    But to pay him more then Dockett would be almost insulting to DD. And we would be overpaying him. I think he deserves a contract similar to what Dockett got but maybe add an extra year for the same price. Dockett earned that contract by being a consistantly disruptive force and a sack machine for 6+ years. Calais is on the rise and entering his prime, very very important to this team, but he isn’t Dockett…….. Yet.

  40. By brad oneill on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    the reality is if they tag him this year he could get a whole lot more expensive next year or he could get injured and be done. i suspect the reason he isnt signed is length of contract, if im his agent i want 3 year deal so he has another crack at peak signing down the road, if i am the cardinals i want at least 6 years. Im guessing we end up at 6 years with 25 million guaranteed and some heavy money on the back end so it will either force a renegotiation at that time or at least get him a ridiculous payday. expect the headline to read 6 year 90 million contract. will he outplay it like docket did maybe and that would be sweet.

  41. By Rugbymuffin on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    Kinda sad that this has taken so long.

    It is obvious to most fans that have followed the team for a whilte, that the Cardinals, as usual, were trying to get some discount.

    It started with the ridiculous questioning about if Campbell was going to “show up this year.”, and has ended with the usual situation of waiting to re-sign a player that should have been re-signed months ago, dare I say a least a year ago.

    All the tweaking of the situation through stories, and PR is not making the glaring mistake of our snails pace front office go away.

    If tag has to be used, then the Cardinals fail again, and retaining the few talents they draft.

    As I said, for a business, this is starting to look like a missed opportunity, aka a fail.

  42. By joe67 on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    Hey, there are some really good points on both sides here. It is a different world they live in. Heck, even $600K is damn good $ in the real world.
    I hope we can get him signed. He speaks as tho he is trying to be reasonable (relative term) and I have always felt Mr. Bidwill respects that, so I think there is hope. Would be another step toward showing that this really is “the new Cardinals”.
    Only thing that bothers me, there always seems to be a significant drop off once they get there BIG CONTRACT.
    Great job Darren.

  43. By Jeff Gollin on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    If – from the standpoints of attitude, talent, game-changing impact or “makes your defense or ST’s unique – you wanted the embodiment of what most knowledgeable observers would consider to be a “a core player”, the poster child would be Calais.

    So, guys! Get off the pot and get it done!

  44. By johnnybluenose on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    our team is moving forward and i think signing peyton manning when he is released by the colts would be a big step backwards. and an expensive one. the bidwills should pay campbell what he wants and reward him for playing so well for peanuts since he has been here. we don’t really know how good our quarterbacks are yet. maybe one or both of them can be very good. let’s find out before we invest in a once super quarterback who may now be just okay. and i don’t think hue jackson would be a good fit here. it seems to me that he wanted to run the entire show in oakland. there must be some good reason for his being fired after just one year as head coach there. or maybe it was just the usual craziness that abounds there. keep and pay our core guys, have a good draft, develop our young guys and we are definitely in very good shape for a playoff run. and you don’t have to go 14-2 to get to the superbowl. just ask the giants. or the packers.

  45. By Angela on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    just sign him allready, he is a great player, and if signed will show he is well worth the money, but if he is tagged, he will play to protect himself so that he can get the money in the future.

  46. By georgiebird on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    We all agree it’s about the money AND the Cardinals will pay more money to retain CCs services because post season prospects could be better elsewhere.
    I heard an interview with Antrel Rolle this morning. Now, I can’t stand Rolle but he said he signed with the Giants because he had a feeling the Giants had the makings of a Super Bowl team. So thanks to some fortuitous fumbles by SF to cover up his for his own botched plays, Rolle will go to the SB, again.
    So Darren, I think its a combination of money and team prospects with, of course, money being the bigger piece..

  47. By Darren Urban on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    georgie —

    RE: Campbell

    I’ve talked to CC enough that I don’t think he wants to go anywhere assuming the money is right.

  48. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply


    I didn’t say anything about CC not being justified to get a long-term deal and $30,000,000 if he can. I would too if I was in his shoes. I don’t blame athletes for getting all they can if somebody is stupid enough to pay them that much.

    I only took exception with the fact that CC suggested it might be hard to live securely (“security”) after getting a $10,600,000 payday. How much of that $10,600,000 would be consumed by “wants” and how much by “needs”? If an individual believes they can’t live on $10,600,000 for the remainder of their adult life, then they are out of touch with reality, and more specifically, their spending habits are unsustainable. That was my point, and it’s not debatable. The pro sports landscape is littered with sorry cases of people who went from rags-to-riches-back to rags. Calais obviously isn’t thinking about such lifestyle pitfalls when wondering publicly if $10,600,000 is enough to secure him financially from this point forward.

    You’re exactly right about ordinary people as the driving force behind the big TV revenue deals that make the NFL as rich as it is. I never said they weren’t. If nobody watches, then no ratings = no advertisers = no ad revenue. Again, like you said, it’s the ordinary working man that makes it all go, and that’s why – for me personally, I find it ludicrous for athletes to tell me that $10,600,000 isn’t enough financial security for them. I would have loved to seen the entire 2011 season lost to the labor dispute to bring all the millionaires and billionaires just a tiny bit closer to the fan’s reality, if just for a season.

    Calais seems like an exceptional individual on and off the field. He obviously had exceptional parents or mentors play a roll in his maturity. I wonder if his upbringing as a child required his family spending $10.6 million to make CC the man he is today, or if his family got by raising him and any siblings with an income closer to $50K/year than $10M/year?

  49. By Mike Ellingboe on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    @Chuck 1,

    Being a head coach and OC doesn’t qualify him to be a QB coach? Kind of like saying being a General doesn’t qualify to be a Lieutenant. I think the bigger concern is how overqualified he or a guy like Haley are for that position.

  50. By Mike Ellingboe on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply


    As noted, I agree the OM has something to do with the astronomical amount of money poured into the NFL; however, the OM can boycott all he/she wants but the league will roll on financially if the corporations that buy up the luxury suites continue to do so. Think it’s overstated? The second largest market in the country lost both of it’s teams, due in large part to not having any luxury suites at either of their existing stadiums. Watch how quickly they come back when the new stadium, w/luxury suites, is built.

  51. By D-Dub on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    What are you all talking about…. Aside from Fitz we only give big contracts to mediocre , unproven, injury prone players

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