The Jacksonville Jaguars have invested a great deal in their pass rush over the last few years, with minimal returns. In the 2008 draft, they selected Derrick Harvey(notes) and Quentin Groves(notes) with their first two picks. In four combined seasons, the two players have amassed eight sacks. In 2009, no NFL team had fewer total sacks than Jacksonville's 14; the Kansas City Chiefs were second-to-last with 22, and two players (Elvis Dumervil(notes) and Jared Allen(notes)) had more sacks on their own than the Jags did as a team.
After years of unwise moves to address the situation, Jacksonville may have raised their profile in the value-add sweepstakes by signing free agent end Aaron Kampman(notes), the former Green Bay defender. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but they could be very similar to those in the four-year, $26 million contract with $10 million in guaranteed money the Lions just gave Kyle Vanden Bosch(notes). If that's the case, the Jags may have a steal here. Kampman missed seven games with a torn ACL in 2009, but in his last full season in 2008, he led the NFL in quarterback hits with 20, and placed third in QB Knockdowns (sacks plus hits) with 31, behind only John Abraham(notes) and DeMarcus Ware(notes). When he played in 2009, Kampman struggled to produce in Green Bay's 3-4 defense, alternating between end and linebacker. If he's healthy and back in a 4-3 (which he is now), he could be one of the best signings in this year's free agent class.
On the other hand, there are risks here. Kampman is 30, and edge rushers are a lot like running backs -- they tend to decline without warning and in a big hurry. But the Jags had to do something to turn their pass rush around, and when all is said and done, Kampman may very well give his new team more quarterback misery per dollar than Julius Peppers(notes) does in Chicago.
Kampman, who has 54 sacks in his eight-year career, also had interest from the Seahawks, Eagles, and Buccaneers.