Aaron Rodgers’ recruiting tactics didn’t work on Calais Campbell.
The veteran defensive end explained why he chose the Falcons over the Jets after Rodgers texted him to try and sway him to sign with New York in free agency.
Campbell — who signed a one-year deal with Atlanta in March — told CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson that although the Jets “made almost an equal offer as the Falcons,” he chose Atlanta because its system was more appealing.
“It was kind of crazy because Aaron Rodgers texted me and he’s like ‘Come on man, let’s go win a championship together,’” the 36-year-old Campbell said on the latest installment of “The Crew” podcast.
“It was appealing having Aaron Rodgers text you talking about winning a Super Bowl together, but when it came down to it, I just had this gut feeling that Atlanta was a special place and the value I could bring would be most effective there.”
Although it was a “tough” decision, Campbell explained he feels he will be a better fit with Atlanta’s defensive linemen.
“Honestly, it comes down to the value I could bring,” Campbell said of his decision to sign with the Falcons over the Jets. “I think a big part of it was in the Jets system where I would have played and what I could bring wasn’t as appealing as Atlanta’s system, where I feel like they’re going to allow me to be on the field and inflict change… when it came down to it, I just felt like they already have so many great D-lineman.”
In addition to the Jets, Campbell said he also received interest from the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason.
“It was no knock against the Jets,” Campbell added.
“… I think they’re going to win a lot of ball games, especially if Aaron Rodgers gets there. They’re going to be a team that’s in the running.”
Campbell — a six-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro and 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year winner — is entering his 16th season.
Rodgers, meanwhile, is still under contract with Green Bay, as negotiations between the Packers and Jets on a deal for the quarterback have reportedly stalled.
“There hasn’t been a whole lot of conversation, if any, over the last couple of weeks, going back to the owners meetings [from March 26-28],” ESPN’s Adam Schefter said last Tuesday on “NFL Live.”
The Jets and Packers are reportedly “dug in” and “willing to be patient,” and a deal does not appear to be close.
During an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” last month, Rodgers said he intends to play for the Jets in 2023, and that Green Bay was “digging their heels in” trying to get compensation for him.
A separate report by NBC Sports’ Peter King earlier this month said a Jets-Rodgers deal will be done by April 28, which is the second day of the the NFL draft.
At the NFL owners’ meetings in Phoenix, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst seemingly implied that this year’s draft is the deadline for Rodgers to be traded.
If both sides are unable to come to terms on a potential trade by next week’s draft, Rodgers then has a decision to make about whether or not to show up to the mandatory minicamp in May.
Earlier this month, Jets general manger Joe Douglas had fans riled up when he said Rodgers will land in New York.
Elsewhere, there are rumblings of a potential Rodgers-49ers connection — with former Giants running back Tiki Barber touting the idea on Wednesday’s “Tiki & Tierney.”
Rodgers — who has $110 million left on his contract extension that he signed with Green Bay last spring — has been spending the offseason in California.