The Indianapolis Colts tried hard to recruit sort-of retired journeyman quarterback Jason Campbell to back up Matt Hasselbeck while Andrew Luck sits out with a lacerated kidney. The opportunity to lace 'em up one more time should be appealing to a 33-year-old former pro passer. In Campbell's case, he'd have been able to work with offensive coordinator Rod Chudzinski, who was his head coach for one season in Cleveland.
Instead, Campbell turned them down and the Colts signed Charlie Whitehurst. Apparently, Campbell wasn't ready to return to the hustle and bustle of the NFL, even after a conversation with Chudzinski.
"I told him I'm kind of enjoying what I'm doing right now," Campbell told ESPN 980 on Thursday, via the Washington Post. "And it's kind of hard just to up and change what I'm doing. And I told him I appreciate the interest and everything ... [but] I'm just kind of chilling right now."
Instead of training intensively on an NFL team, Campbell said he's using his time to contemplate his next career move and be around his family.
"You're playing football for so many years -- you're always gone, you're always on the road, doing different things, and you never get a chance to spend that time with your family," Campbell said. "And you look up, and 10 years have went by. Your nephews aren't three no more; they're 13."
Assuming Campbell really is done with the NFL, his career will go down as one of the best by a quarterback who was seemingly never able to hold down a job for long. The reasons why are myriad, and may not have much to do with anything Campbell did. Over 10 seasons, teams with Campbell on the roster went 76-83-1 overall and 1-3 in the playoffs. His head coaches had a habit of getting fired soon after he signed.
Campbell will be remembered best for his time in Washington, where he spent his first four seasons and started 52 games. Campbell improved steadily throughout his time with the team, notching a career-best 86.4 quarterback rating in his final season, but Washington's fortunes only declined while he was on the roster. He was traded to the Oakland Raiders for a fourth-round pick after a 4-12 season.
After that, Campbell's career lacked any stability, something he lamented.
"Because I'd have to start over again with a new playbook, or I'd have to start over again learning chemistry with a new guy," Campbell said. "You're never just moving forward, you're always constantly going through change. And that always hangs over your head: man, what if I had the opportunity to stay with one [coach] for a while."