Jason Campbell received a surprise call from John Keim of the Washington Examiner on April 4th.
Every sports fan still has a little kid in him. Why else do 60 year old men stand in line, to get the autograph of their favorite 20 year old college athlete on fan day. Well the little kid in me was crushed on April 5th, when I heard how my NFL team since childhood, had treated one of my ‘ 20 something ‘ heroes
Jason Campbell former Auburn great and hero of the 2004 undefeated season, was sitting at home when he got a telephone call from John Keim of the Washington Examiner. Keim asked Jason, ” Did you hear about what happened ?” Jason asked, ”What ?” Keim replied, “The Redskins have traded to bring in Donavan ( McNabb). ” Jason: “Really, Ummm… I didn’t know that man.” Keim: “I’ m sorry I had to be the one who told you. I can’t believe they didn’t tell you.” Jason: “No, that’s the first I heard of it …I’d better go call my agent.”
Folks such treatment is beyond shameful. Pure and simple it is reprehensible. Now the Redskins did not owe Jason the opportunity to be in on all their decisions, but they did owe him the courtesy of a telephone call when the deal was done.
Imagine you have reached the peak of your profession. You are considered one of the best at what you do. Then you find out from a reporter, who calls your house, that you have been replaced by another. That my friend is the ultimate disrespect . Some might say it’s only business. No it’s not , it’s a slap in the face, to a man who has conducted himself by all accounts with class and dignity . A man who is a good quarterback and who has a good ranking in the NFL.
Campbell had 20 TD’s, an 86.5% passing rating, and threw for more yards than Eli Manning or Donavan McNabb (3,618 yds.) in 2009. His team lost 6 games by 5 or less points or they would have been in the playoffs. It is important to note, he did this with a team that had an almost non existent rushing game, that averaged less than 94 yds. per game, and a O-line that allowed the defense to get to him 43 times.
In addition Jason has had to deal with a revolving door of head coaches and offensive coordinators . He has had to learn 3 new systems in 5 years. In light of what he’s had to deal with, his progress has been phenomenal.
New coach Mike Shanahan has given Campbell’s agent permission to seek a trade and Jason would be better off not playing for such a dysfunctional organization. However Campbell is in a race against time. By this late stage most teams are set on their top two QB’s and the Skins are not going to let him go without some compensation. Adding insult to injury the Redskins have devalued Campbell (according to Washington Post writer Jason Reid) by privately demeaning him around the league the past couple of years, as well as their previous efforts to trade him. If no trade is worked out and Jason remains on the roster, he will have to compete with Rex Grossman , who was signed recently to be the no. 2 QB.
The NFL rules provide that his salary would be guaranteed, if he is on the opening 53 man roster. That may not be such a good thing though, since the Redskins would not owe him anything ‘ if ‘ they cut him before the season begins. Don’t put it past this bunch to do just that .
The next important date for Campbell is the NFL’s 3 day draft that begins April 22. The latest report from the Washington Post is that Jason will speed up his prospects for a trade, by signing his restricted free agent tender by Monday April 12th. I hope he can find the right team, one that (unlike the Redskins) can give him the respect he deserves. I hope he can wind up with an organization that will not only give him respect, but the opportunity to be the great NFL quarterback he is capable of becoming.
I’ m pulling for him. But for the first time since I was a child … I will not be pulling for the Washington Redskins!