Hometown hero or financially set for life?
That was the question Calais Campbell was faced with in early March of 2017. One answer was to play for the Denver Broncos, a team he grew up a fan of, while leaving over $15 million on the table that the Jacksonville Jaguars had offered over Denver.
Less than a day to the beginning of free agency, the Jaguars had upped their offer to $14.75 million - knocking out all contenders. Then Denver entered the picture for the first time.
The deal was less than Jacksonville’s, but John Elway had offered a slew of incentives to up the deal close to what the Jaguars were offering. The Jaguars weren’t done and upped their offer to heights no other team could match. The difference would end up a grand canyon sized void in money on the table.
Campbell’s family - all mostly lifelong Bronco fans - were clearly torn by all of this. It was turning into a very tough decision.
Down the final minutes of a decision, Calais Campbell offers his agent Tom Condon his team of choice, “I’m going with Denver, man.“
“Look, $15 million is a lot of money,” says Condon. “What I’m worried about is were going to lose somebody here.”
“Let’s go with Jacksonville,” Campbell replies, changing his mind at the very last minute.
As much as it would have nice to see Campbell in the the orange and blue, it was an incredible scene to watch how this tough decision played out for him. It was an incredible insight into the free agent process.
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