Calais Campbell explains why he chose the Falcons over the Jets. It’s not for the reasons you think.
The New York Jets have had some trouble luring in big-name free agents this offseason, most notably being turned down by star defensive tackles Fletcher Cox and Calais Campbell. In March, Campbell scheduled a visit with the Jets but chose to sign with the Atlanta Falcons before even visiting New York.
Today, Campbell appeared on Josnia Anderson’s podcast, The Crew, and explained why he made the decision to sign with the Falcons instead of the Jets.
Campbell went in-depth into his free agency process and what the Jets offered him. In fact, Campbell said the Jets made “an almost equal offer” to the Falcons. Aaron Rodgers even reached out, as Campbell says the future Hall of Fame quarterback texted him, “Let’s go win a championship together”.
But in the end, two things stood out for Campbell. First, he believed the Falcons were a better scheme fit. The Jets were going to stick him at DT and have him play pretty much exclusively there. Meanwhile, the Falcons offered him a chance to play more snaps at EDGE, which appealed to Campbell.
He told Anderson that he believes he can be more impactful in Atlanta. Even in his 16th NFL season, he believes he can make an impact off the edge, a role he hasn’t played consistently since his three years in Jacksonville from 2017-19.
The other reason is that Campbell believes the Falcons’ road to a championship is easier. He talked about how strong the AFC East is, and the AFC as a whole. In fact, he said when he looked at the Falcons’ schedule, he believed the team could win 13 games this year. The Falcons have the NFL’s easiest schedule in 2023 based on opponents’ win percentages in 2022. The Jets have the sixth-most difficult schedule.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to compete with that. How could the Jets overcome the difference in scheme and schedule? Even with Aaron Rodgers and the chance to compete this season, that was going to be a difficult mountain to climb.
The Jets are slated to play the Falcons at MetLife Stadium during the 2023 season. The Jets haven’t beaten Atlanta since 2013; they’re 1-4 since 2000, and 2-6 since 1990.
The falcons are more likely to lose 13 games a than win 13 games. Strength of schedule be damned.