Bears Tabbed ‘Best Fit’ For Former Falcons 6-Time Pro Bowl Selection

With the NFL draft concluding, free agents now have a better understanding of positions certain teams need. Former Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Calais Campbell is still on the market, one of many veteran defensive players searching for a home. Dan Pizzuta of The 33rd Team listed the best fits for available free agents, naming Campbell a fit for the Chicago Bears.

“The Chicago Bears have a lot going for them after selecting Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze in the first round. That pairing, along with DJ Moore and Keenan Allen, could give Chicago an impressive offense capable of keeping up with one of the league’s best defenses from the second half of last season,” Pizzuta wrote in his April 29 column exploring the top fits for remaining free agents. “The unit ranked third in EPA per play from Week 10 on.

“Montez Sweat’s addition was a huge piece of that, but the Bears still lack other impact players along the defensive line. The only additions were free agents Jake Martin and Byron Cowart and fifth-round pick Austin Booker.”

Calais Campbell ‘Leaning Towards Playing’ in 2024

Campbell told reporters that he was leaning toward playing again as he’s 37-year-old, but was going to take until around March to come up with a decision, according to Kelly Price of Fox 5 Sports Atlanta.

Calais Campbell told us today he’s “leaning towards playing again,” but is going to take time to think about it until probably around March.

Said he’d love to see Ryan Nielsen back on the #Falcons coaching staff and that he’ll monitor coaching changes as he weighs that decision. pic.twitter.com/Agk6jNDBFv

— Kelly Price (@thekellyprice) January 8, 2024

Atlanta Falcons head coach Raheem Morris said he was looking forward to getting a chance to speak with Campbell as he was impressed with his “football character,” according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I look forward to get a chance to sit in front of him because he’s certainly as impressive as it gets when it comes to football character,” Morris said on April 4. “He’s had as an impressive of a career that you can have. . . . I’m looking [forward] to discussing that in further detail with him at a later date.”

Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot told reporters prior to the NFL draft that he was focusing on the draft and then would focus on addressing free agents. When asked about Campbell, he said he won’t “close any doors,” according to Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk.

“Again, no update at this point but we’ll never close any doors,” Fontenot said on April 24. “Once we get through the draft, we always go through the players that are available and what we can do. It’s a 24/7, 365 process, the roster-building. We’re never stopping. The roster’s never set. We won’t close any doors.”

If Campbell signs with the Chicago Bears or any other team in free agency, it’d be his 17th season in the NFL.

Would Bring the Chicago Bears Another Veteran

The Chicago Bears have put together an impressive team, currently producing a defense with Montez Sweat, Jaylon Johnson, and others. Adding Campbell would give them another veteran who can still produce, despite his age.

The six-time Pro Bowl selection had 6.5 sacks for the Atlanta Falcons last season, producing the most since the 2018 season. Campbell has 105.5 sacks, 175 tackles for a loss, and 254 quarterback hits in his career.

His market value, according to Spotrac, is $7.5 million. As a cheap defensive option, he’d bring value back to the Falcons or with a new team like the Bears.

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