At some point this summer, the Green Bay Packers absolutely needed to add a free-agent at inside linebacker.
Campbell, a fourth-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons in 2016, will immediately compete with second-year linebackers Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin for a starting job in Joe Barry’s defense.
Campbell brings much-needed experience to the middle of the Packers’ defense having started 70 regular-season games in his career with the Falcons and Arizona Cardinals.
In that time, the former fourth-round pick has made 462 tackles, 19 pass defenses, six forced fumbles, three interceptions, 7.5 sacks, and 13 QB hits.
Of course, this move doesn’t necessarily fix the team’s need at inside linebacker. Campbell will need to prove himself over the summer and show that he deserves snaps on defense this season. But he’s a talented player, a good tackler, and offers plenty of experience, something the Packers lacked at inside linebacker.
It also increases the competition at the position at training camp. With Campbell joining Barnes, Martin, Oren Burks, Ty Summers, and rookie Isaiah McDuffie, this will be a roster battle to watch during training camp as they compete for limited spots on the 53-man roster.
Campbell has been a starter every season he’s played, including his one year with the Cardinals in 2020. He has started all but five games in his career, so don’t be surprised if he wins the starting job in Green Bay.
And that’s why it’s a smart move. There was a lot of uncertainty for the Packers at the inside linebacker position but they’ve now added a player talented enough to be a regular starter.
We’ll learn more about how the Packers plan to use him once training camp begins next month, but signing Campbell is a smart move by Brian Gutekunst.