After watching his division rivals come up just short of the ultimate glory and witnessing the Los Angeles Rams achieve it in Super Bowl 56, Baltimore Ravens defensive end and pending free agent Calais Campbell isn’t ready to call it a career.
The 35-year-old was a guest analyst on Sky Sports’ coverage of the game and was so invigorated by seeing seasoned veterans like Eric Weddle and Andrew Whitworth ride off into the sunset as champions that he expressed his intentions to continue his playing career with hopes of doing the same.
“The feeling I have right now after seeing them celebrate a Super Bowl championship, I have a desire to go out there and play football and to compete,” said Campbell. “I’m definitely not retiring. I’m coming back.”
Calais Campbell is not retiring and is returning for the next season pic.twitter.com/vBCE1KZzXl— (@F1avs) February 14, 2022
Following the Ravens’ disappointing end to the 2021 regular season, the future Hall of Fame defensive lineman said that he’d take some time to contemplate whether he’d return for a 15th season. Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta shared at his season-ending press conference that the two sides have been in contact and intend to stay in touch while Campbell mulled retirement. Now that his decision to keep playing has been answered, all that is left is whether that will be for the Ravens or elsewhere.
While DeCosta divulged the team’s plan to get younger in their defensive trenches in that same presser, he also expressed their desire to bring Campbell back if he didn’t decide to walk away. He praised him for the continued high level of play that he showed this past season and that believes that the six-time Pro Bowler has plenty left in the tank.
The Ravens will enter the 2022 season among the top contenders in a loaded conference to reach Super Bowl 57 in Glendale, Arizona, at State Farm Stadium next February. If Campbell does decide to dawn the black and purple for his last ride, there’s no doubt that he will empty the tank in his pursuit of returning to the championship game for the first time since his rookie year in 2008.
“I really hope to get here one day,” said Campbell. “I’m going to go out there, play the game the way it is supposed to be played, leave it all out on the field, enjoy myself, and hopefully when it’s all said and done, I’ll have a piece of jewelry that says I’m a world champion.