Calais Campbell being recruited by former Ravens teammate

Ravens, Calais Campbell (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ravens, Calais Campbell (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Baltimore Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell will be one of the league’s top pending free agents, and he already has one former teammate trying to lure him away.

Las Vegas Raiders‘ Yannick Ngakoue left Baltimore in 2020 when the Ravens decided against retaining the expensive pass rusher that offseason.

Now, the same could happen to Campbell, who has opted not to retire and plans to play at least one more year in the NFL. Rather than stick it out with the Ravens, Ngakoue wants to see Campbell come over to the “dark side.”

The two pass rushers were teammates not just on the Ravens but also the Jacksonville Jaguars, where they played together for three years from 2017 to 2019.

Both Campbell and Ngakoue received Pro Bowl honors in 2017, but Campbell got an All-Pro nod as well and was in the running for Defensive Player of the Year.

Las Vegas would no doubt benefit from Campbell joining Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby — those three players would potentially form the best pass-rushing unit in the league.

Campbell’s two years of solid production on the Ravens make him an upgrade for almost any team, and he’s proved to be reliable and an inspiring leader in the trenches, too.

Ravens’ Calais Campbell gets a pitch to join Raiders in 2022

Lamar Jackson hilariously tried to shut down Ngakoue’s attempts to recruit Campbell by pointing out a simple difference: purple is prettier than black.

It’s nice to see Baltimore’s star quarterback stand up for Campbell, as the Ravens likely wouldn’t want to let another talented defensive end leave for greener pastures.

Yet as with any NFL offseason, players will continue being rumored or linked to other teams until contracts become finalized. Losing Campbell would deal a tough blow to the Ravens’ defensive line, but Baltimore is in dire need of more youthful reinforcements anyway.

2022 may be Campbell’s last year in the NFL, so he’s at the very least looking for a team he can chase a ring with. The Ravens perhaps offer the most convenient option, but not necessarily the best.

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More suitors may line up to pitch their teams to Calais Campbell this offseason, and it’ll be up to the aging defensive stud to make his pick.