When Brian Gutekunst tells us something, we should listen. After the draft, he mentioned that the Green Bay Packers would have liked to address the linebacker position earlier than what they did and that they would then look into making a veteran addition.
Well, that is about to take place as Rob Demovsky of ESPN has reported that the Green Bay Packers will have De’Vondre Campbell in for a visit, and if everything checks out, the team will plan to sign him.
Although Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin are exciting young players, they are only entering their second NFL seasons, and both missed time with injuries in 2020. Behind them are Oren Burks and Ty Summers—both of whom are primary special teams players, while rookie sixth-round pick Isiah McDuffie and 2020 practice squad member De’Jon Harris are two unknowns. To put it simply, depth was needed.
Campbell spent his first four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and appeared in all 48 games over his final three years there. During that span, he would record 315 tackles, including 13 for a loss, 5.5 sacks along with 31 total pressures. Campbell also added two interceptions and nine pass breakups in coverage and forced four fumbles.
Campbell would sign a one-year deal with Arizona for the 2020 season, where he would start all 16 games and was often moved around the formation. In addition to taking a majority of his snaps from the box, Campbell also took 58 snaps along the defensive line and 105 from the slot, according to PFF ($$).
He finished the season with six pressures, including two sacks and 102 total tackles. In coverage, he had three pass breakups and allowed 9.8 yards per catch.
Campbell isn’t a flashy signing by any means and expectations shouldn’t be that he’s going to take the defense by storm, but he is an all-around solid player at the linebacker position. He can be on the field all three-downs and is a reliable tackler, can make an impact as a blitzer, and while I wouldn’t say coverage is his strong suit, it’s not as if he’s a massive liability either. He provides needed stability to the position.
The signing is not official as Campbell still has to pass his physical, so we don’t know the details of his contract, but I imagine it’s for one year. For what it’s worth, his previous deal with Arizona was for one year – $6 million. According to Over the Cap, the Green Bay Packers currently have $5.24 million in available cap space.
When the signing does become official, a corresponding cut will have to made as the current Packers roster is at max capacity with 90 players.