Miami football alum Calais Campbell named top 5 NFL player over 30


Miami football alum Calais Campbell of the Jacksonville Jaguars has earned another offseason honor. He has piled them up after a stellar 2017 season CBSSports.Com has named Campbell it’s fifth-best player in the NFL over 30 years old.

Campbell who will turn 32 years old on September 1 finished second last season in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year vote. He had a career-high 14.5 sacks for a vastly improved Jacksonville defensive behind his leadership. Campbell played on the Miami football team from 2005-07.

Campbell was the second youngest player in the top five. Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins who is listed fourth is 30. The top three players are quarterbacks. The Saints Drew Brees who is 39 is third, the Packers Aaron Rodgers is 34 and was second and the ageless Tom Brady who is 40 was first.

Approximate Value, which is football’s answer to baseball’s WAR and basketball’s win shares, places Campbell 31st among active NFL players. Pro Football Reference defines Approximate Value as “our attempt to attach a single number to every player-season since 1960.”

Campbell finished tied for fifth in AV last season with three players including Brees at 16. Brady and Todd Gurley led the NFL with 19. The all-time record for one season was LaDainian Tomlinson with 26 in 2006. That came during his record-setting 2006 season when he set the touchdown record.

CBS Sports is extremely impressed with how cost efficient Campbell proved to be in the first season of a four-year $60 million contract he signed during the 2017 offseason. Campbell signed with the Jaguars after spending the first nine seasons of his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals.

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  • "“What a steal Campbell ended up being for the Jaguars. Before arriving in Jacksonville, Campbell had enjoyed a productive career in Arizona, where he grabbed 56.5 sacks from 2008-16.But he never exploded with the Cardinals quite like he did with the Jaguars in 2017, when he brought down opposing quarterbacks 14.5 times — a career high. As a result, he was named First-Team All Pro.”"

    Campbell helped the Jaguars improve from 6-10 and last in the AFC South in 2016, to 10-6 and first place last season. The Jacksonville defense improved from 25th in the NFL in points allowed in 2016 to second in 2017.

    USA Today’s For the Win column projects the Jaguars to win the AFC South again by two games over the Tennessee Titans. Jacksonville and Tennessee both won playoff games last season.

    The Titans and Jaguars were both eliminated by the two time defending AFC Champion New England Patriots. The Titans lost 35-14 in the divisional round and the Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC Championship game.

    Next: Miami football alum Calais Campbell named in NFL top 100 players

    In the second year of his contract, Campbell should once again lead a young and up and coming Jaguars defense. With another year together, they can be better than last season.