AP source: Falcons reach 1-year deal with DE Calais Campbell
By CHARLES ODUM
ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Falcons agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent defensive end Calais Campbell on Wednesday, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
Campbell, who played the past three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, has agreed to play the 2023 season in Atlanta, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract has not been signed.
Campbell, who turns 37 on Sept. 1, has 99 career sacks, including 5 1/2 in 2022. Campbell is expected to provide a veteran boost to Atlanta's pass rush, which ranked last in sacks in 2021 and was next to last with 21 last season.
The Ravens released Campbell on March 13 after he announced he would return for his 16th season. The six-time Pro Bowler has played 227 games with Arizona, Jacksonville and Baltimore.
The Falcons have made defense a priority in free agency after hiring defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen from NFC South rival New Orleans.
Atlanta signed former Cincinnati safety Jessie Bates III to a $64 million, four-year contract, linebacker Kaden Elliss to a three-year deal, cornerback Mike Hughe s to a two-year deal and defensive lineman David Onyemata, who played with Elliss in New Orleans, to a three-year deal.
The Falcons also re-signed cornerback Cornell Armstrong and announced that defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, who retired after signing a one-year deal with the team last summer, has been reinstated. Goldman, 29, started 73 of 81 games in six seasons with the Chicago Bears. Goldman could compete for a starting job and provide help in the middle of the line.
Atlanta also has made news at quarterback this offseason, signing former Washington Commanders starter Taylor Heinicke, who announced he would serve as Desmond Ridder's backup. Falcons coach Arthur Smith confirmed to reporters at the NFL owners meetings this week that Ridder, who started four games as a rookie last season, will enter the 2023 season as the starter.
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Updated March 30, 2023