Cincinnati Bengals Get a Steal in Jason Campbell
By Chris Roling
Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Jason Campbell (17) warms up on the field before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Now that the dust has settled on the news the Cincinnati Bengals signed veteran quarterback Jason Campbell, it continues to look like one of the steals of free agency.
Think about it. In the grand scheme of things, Campbell is a top-five backup who is more than capable of leading a team to consistent wins — especially in Cincinnati, where the roster has been tailored toward getting the absolute most out of the signal-caller’s skill set.
Campbell has postseason experience. He’s had a season derailed by an injury. He’s carried a clipboard rather than line up under center. Most of all, he’s at a stage in his career where he is willing to stay on the sidelines and support a young quarterback like Andy Dalton.
Perhaps best of all, the details of Campbell’s contract puts the situation over the top. According to ESPN’s Coley Harvey, it is quite the favorable deal for the franchise:
"According to Campbell’s contract details obtained by ESPN Stats & Information, the signal-caller will be making $400,000 of guaranteed money this year. That’s slightly down from the $500,000 of guaranteed cash he agreed to last season when he played in nine games with the Browns. Much like his overall salary from Cleveland, Campbell this season will boast a cap value in Cincinnati of $1.5 million."
Fans know Campbell can win games. Heck, he’s probably never been surrounded by so much talent, which may bring out the best play of his career should he be called upon. For that price, the Bengals front office should pat itself on the back.
But there’s another dimension to the favorable contract numbers. Campbell’s cost doesn’t prevent the team from drafting a quarterback this year. It’s much, much easier for the staff to revert back to its three-deep quarterback ways when the primary backup’s number is so cheap.
By all accounts, Cincinnati is content with Dalton as the franchise quarterback of the future. A nine-year veteran in his ear and acting as a guide is nothing but a positive addition, especially when he has the ability to win games. It’s easy to knock Cincinnati for remaining relatively quiet, but the team once again has an outstanding addition on its hands — albeit quietly.