For anybody who thinks life in the NFL is all about making millions and having fun I’d suggest you take a look at Jason Campbell’s career. Sure, he’s made his millions. One upon a time JC was viewed as a franchise QB. Now he’s never lived up to that billing but then again he’s never been an outright bust either.
Sometimes there is nothing worse than being middle of the road. That is where Campbell is and even worse he’s truly at the crossroads.
Campbell did everything right this year. He stayed in shape during the lockout. He helped organize player workouts and even put up a few of his receivers at his home during the offseason so they could get in some extra work. Campbell was playing at a high level, making few mistakes and running the offense efficiently until disaster struck.
A broken collarbone ended Campbell’s season. A trade for Carson Palmer all but ended his career as a Raider.
Life in the NFL is not all about making millions and having fun. Life in the NFL is heartache and frustration for many. Just ask Campbell.
JC seems all but resigned to the fact that he’s going to be gone from the East Bay. But that didn’t stop him from working as if he’ll be back in silver and black nor has it kept him from some of his charitable acts.
Despite all that professionalism this is a business. Vittorio Tafur cites an anonymous source inside the Oakland franchise claiming Campbell is in no way a part of their plans going forward. Somehow I don’t think Campbell needed any confirmation on that front. The two high picks traded for Palmer all but assured there was no plan in place to pursue Campbell after the season was over.
The good news for Campbell is that he’ll be among the best free agent QBs on the market. More than likely he’ll get another chance to be a starter. The bad news is that he’ll be starting all over again.
When Campbell arrived in Oakland Al Davis proclaimed him to be the next Jim Plunkett. That never came to be. However when compared to the man he replaced, Campbell looked like Rich Gannon. Unlike his predecessor, Campbell was a student of the game with a tireless work ethic and the leadership qualities necessary to be a quarterback in this league.
If the Raiders are successful going forward a lot of the credit for the turnaround will have to go to Campbell. Without a steady hand to redirect the lost ship the Raiders would still be adrift in the ocean of bad football. Campbell came along at the right time and though he did not get this team back to glory he helped regain respectability for the franchise. That is something that will never be lost on Raider Nation.
Life in the NFL is about being a professional. Those that understand this are able to stick around to make their millions and one day they might have the type of fun that comes from being a world champion. Somehow you get the feeling that one day Campbell will get his in this league. Too bad it won’t be as a Raider.