When free agency begins in early March, one of the biggest names on the market will be Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell.
If he gets there.
A fourth-year veteran who has flourished in defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s Pittsburgh-style defense, Campbell is on the Cardinals’ retention radar. Per a league source, the two sides have passed the casual level in their talks and moved to intermediate.
The Cardinals like Campbell a lot, but the Cardinals historically haven’t devoted a bunch of money to home-grown products not named “Larry Fitzgerald.”
Campbell had a sack and a critical forced fumble on Saturday, knocking the ball loose from Bengals running back Cedric Benson during a close-but-no-cigar attempt to dig out of a 23-point hole.
If the Cardinals can’t sign Campbell to a long-term deal, don’t be surprised if they use the franchise tag. They used the device to hold Karlos Dansby in place for two seasons, before letting him leave for Miami.