Calais Campbell announces he won’t retire, Ravens future uncertain

Ravens, Calais Campbell Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Calais Campbell Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens are expected to make some changes to their defensive line this offseason, but one player who might very well be returning now is Calais Campbell.

Campbell has found himself the center of retirement rumors dating back to the summer and it remained unclear what the future held for the six-time Pro Bowler. That was until Sunday night.

Campbell joined the Sky Sports broadcast after the game and insisted that he has no plans to retire and will play again in 2022. Perhaps he received some inspiration from the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl victory.

"“The feeling I have after seeing them celebrate a world championship, I have a desire to play football and compete. I’m definitely not retiring. I’m coming back.”"

The only question remaining now is where does his future lie?

Will Calais Campbell play for the Ravens in 2022?

The Ravens have expressed interest in a reunion with their stalwart defensive lineman, and the interest does appear to be mutual. However, there’s been no indication that the two sides are close to a deal.

With Campbell officially announcing his intent to return, one would imagine that the Ravens would ramp up contract negotiations with him. If he hits the open market, Campbell will certainly have his fair share of suitors.

Even at 35-years-old, Campbell was still one of the best players on the Ravens’ defense in 2021. Campbell’s 80.4 Pro Football Focus grade ranked eighth among all 119 qualified interior defensive linemen in the NFL.

That grade was the highest among all Ravens defensive players as he excelled as both a run defender and pass rusher. Campbell’s value on and off the field is unquestioned.

At this stage of his career, he’s evidently just ring chasing. The Ravens missed the postseason this year, but they’re certainly primed for a deep playoff run in 2022 provided they play their cards right this offseason.

But could Campbell receive a better offer from a more appealing destination in free agency? It’s certainly possible, and if 2022 is very well going to be the last season of his career, he’ll certainly want to make the right decision.

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There appears to be a sense of mutual respect between the Ravens and Calais Campbell. Both sides are interested in a return, and now that Campbell is officially not retiring, I think it’s more likely than not that he’s playing for the Ravens in 2022.