He's Back!!!

The Edmonton Eskimos, after months of speculation, have announced that Kelly Campbell has reported for camp. Pretty exciting news for a fan base that remembers how Campbell torched opposing defences back in 2008 to the tune of 1,223 yards and seven touchdowns before leaving for the NFL. The 29-year old is still in the prime of his career and adds another legitimate threat to what was already a pretty dangerous air attack.

Okay, so we are all excited to have Campbell back as part of  the Green & Gold, however, there are a few questions that arise with this announcement.

1. Is Campbell 100% healthy?

Last year, while a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Campbell did have some injury issues, most notably a quadriceps injury that ultimately led to his release. Like every other player, he will have to complete a physical before he steps out on to the field, but if he isn’t 100%, where does that leave the team? Campbell’s game is all about speed, and if he is slowed by injury, can he really be the big play-maker he used to be?

2. If he is healthy, how does this change the battle for receiving positions?

Assuming that the Eskimos carry seven receivers/slotbacks on the 42 man active roster, and four of those are imports, who will be the odd men out. Fred Stamps is a lock for one spot, leaving Campbell, Efrem Hill, Jason Barnes, Skyler Green, and maybe Jamaica Rector as the top contenders for the final three spots. Green could replace Tristan Jackson on the roster if he wins the returner’s spot, so that might take him out of the elimination process. Aside from the better known players, they also still have Tremayne Kirkland and Kelton Tindall on the roster competing for spots.

3. Salary cap implications.

Although this is something that the fans of the Eskimos will never get to know about, unless the CFL decides to start publishing players salaries, there could be some salary cap implications by adding Kelly Campbell to the roster. Assuming he signed a healthy contract, which he most likely did, it could mean that the Eskimos will need to shed some veteran depth elsewhere. You have to wonder who could end up being a casualty of this type of move, because it will probably be a player that has good experience in the CFL and would be a welcome addition to another team. The Eskimos will need to make sure they don’t get rid of a player that could come back to haunt them.

On with the positive thinking.

Okay, enough with the questions and speculation. It’s great to see Campbell back in Edmonton and wearing his old number 71. Here’s hoping he is ready to fly in 2010. If the Eskimos didn’t have the best passing attack in the CFL before, they probably do now.


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