Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs had a great start to his NFL career, registering eight interceptions as a rookie in 2020. Three years and two Pro Bowl selections later, he became the highest-paid player at his position after getting a five-year deal worth $96 million early Tuesday, the first of a few deals that fell in place throughout the day. If the Jacksonville Jaguars don't want to see cornerback Tyson Campbell remains for years to come, they'll need to be ready to fork out a similar amount as soon as he becomes eligible for an extension in 2024.
There are several young cornerbacks that are taking the league by storm and the Jags happen to have one in Campbell. Although the former Georgia Bulldog doesn't enjoy the same name recognition as Diggs, Patrick Surtain II, and Sauce Gardner, he's one of the best at what he does, posting an 80.8 Pro Football Focus grade last year and giving up a sub-60 percent completion rate when targeted.
Now, PFF grades aren't the holy grail of NFL evaluations but they're most definitely a way to measure a player's performance and see how he stacked up against his peers. According to their own grading system, Campbell was the seventh-best corner in the league while Diggs ranked 42nd.
It's true that Diggs plays for the Cowboys, which enjoy name recognition worldwide. Moreover, his knack for tallying interceptions makes him an invaluable member of the Dallas secondary. Campbell's interception totals aren't nearly as high as Diggs' and he suits up for a much smaller team. But is the gap between both that wide? Probably not, which makes Campbell a prime candidate for a big payday next offseason.
Locking up Tyson Campbell will be one of the Jaguars top priorities in 2024
Campbell isn't the only prominent Jaguars player that are next in line to either hit the open market or become eligible for a contract extension next offseason. Outside linebacker Josh Allen and wide receiver Calvin Ridley are slated to become free agents while Trevor Lawrence will be able to start contract talks.
The Jags deliberately took a conservative approach in this year's free agency and opted not to make any splash signings knowing they will need to pay their starts in 2024. While keeping all of them is possible, it won't be an easy task, one that could become even more challenging if any of them go on to have a breakout season.
In particular, Campbell has steadily improved over the last two years and there's a strong chance he'll keep getting even better next season. In fact, it wouldn't be shocking to be universally seen as one of the top cornerbacks in the league. Heck, he's already joined the conversation, he just needs to pick up where he left off in 2022.
While it's hard to envision the Jacksonville Jaguars not make an aggressive effort to give Campbell a contract extension, they must start planning right now if they want to keep him, and their other stars.