For the first time in his NFL career, two-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Calais Campbell had the opportunity to experience unrestricted free agency this off-season.
The new Jacksonville Jaguar joined The Jim Rome Show on Thursday and talked about how much more stress was involved for him to decide where to play as a 30-year-old than when he decided to go to the University of Miami coming out of high school.
“High school you have a lot more time to make the decision,” Campbell laughed. “But in this situation, it was a lot of pressure, a lot of stress, but I feel like everything worked out like it’s supposed to.”
Campbell also talked about the appealing sides of Jacksonville that won him over.
“A lot of young talent, and I got a lot of respect for Tom Coughlin, and I know this organization is set up and in line, that it doesn’t take long to get there,” Campbell said. “Coach Marrone, I’ve been a fan of his, so you know it shows you got the right leadership in place and some young talent that could use a leader like me. So I came in, and I could add some good value and help this team win a lot of games.”
Having grown up in Colorado, the veteran gave the Denver Broncos strong consideration, but said he felt like he could leave more of an imprint on Jacksonville’s organization.
“It was tough, because I’m from Denver so I was very interested in them, and their offer was great,” Campbell said. “I think what it came down to was I think I had a better opportunity to add value. And I felt like Jacksonville has a real good chance to be a quality team very soon, and that’s why I wanted to put my hand in that and just leave my legacy in a place like Jacksonville.”
Last week, the team also made waves at the NFL Draft when they selected LSU running back Leonard Fournette with the fourth overall pick, a move that has Campbell excited.
“I went and watched some of his film, and I’m like man, that guy, he got me excited,” Campbell said. “His speed and power combination, you don’t see that too often, and he actually has a little wiggle and a little vision to him. So I’m excited to play against him in camp and try to get him ready, but he’s a beast. He’s going to make this team a lot better.”