NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
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San Francisco is looking for a veteran. This move would suggest the team knows they need a temporary Dre Greenlaw replacement, and they don’t feel strongly about the NFL Draft class

If we judge the San Francisco 49ers by their actions, the team tells us a few things based on their interest in a veteran linebacker during free agency. Here are my takeaways:

  • The likelihood that Dre Greenlaw will miss significant time in 2024 is high
  • There isn’t a starter the team has evaluated in the NFL Draft they’d feel comfortable
  • Kyle Shanahan and Nick Sorensen want an established player to pair with Fred Warner

Eric Kendricks is a Dallas Cowboy. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco tweeted that the Niners “are showing strong interest in former Green Bay Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell.

If you haven’t watched Campbell recently, you’ll refer to him being an All-Pro in 2021 and how the Packers head coaches rave about Campbell’s leadership.

If you are familiar with Campbell, you know injuries have zapped the athleticism that made him an All-Pro two seasons ago. Campbell, who turns 31 in July, was a shell of himself in 2023.

Packers fans will echo a similar sentiment.

He missed ten games during the previous two seasons due to injuries. This past season was due to an ankle and neck sprain. The injury in 2022 was due to a knee strain.

He played middle linebacker for Green Bay, but Campbell’s usage was bizarre once he returned from injury. He only played on obvious passing downs, but it was evident that coverage wasn’t Campbell’s strength.

Per Sports Info Solutions, Campbell completed 76.5 percent of his targets and allowed 12 yards per target. For comparison’s sake—and to give you a better idea of the caliber of player the team is attempting to replace temporarily—Greenlaw surrendered a completion percentage of 63.6 percent for only 4.6 yards per target.

Campbell is open about speaking out about his issues on social media, too. Last season, he openly tweeted that he was done playing through injuries after suffering his second injury of the season in December:

Campbell is the emotional, passionate, wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve type of player who could give a jolt of energy to the 49er’s defense. But, based on what he put on the field last year — even acknowledging that it’s impossible to replace Greenlaw — signing Campbell feels like a Plan D.

But you have to ask what the alternative is. That is Dee Winters and Jalen Graham. Another takeaway would be the team does not want those two stepping on the field in 2024 based on their interest in veteran linebackers.

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