Cardinals to Calais Campbell: ‘Oui’ Are Family

That’s a lot of euros for Calais – the player, not the ferry port in Northern France.

The Arizona Cardinals continue to clear salary cap space while locking in their key players with the signing of defensive end Calais Campbell to a five-year, $55 million contract. While Campbell will earn approximately $10.7 million in 2012 – that’s 8,215,034 euros to you and me – it will save the organization more than $5 million that it can use to pay the Michael Floyds of the world.

It is, by the way, purely coincidental that Floyd went to Notre Dame, and the Église Notre-Dame is a cathedral in Calais, France.

Or is it?

Perhaps the signing is a foreshadowing of what kind of season the Cardinals can expect this season. Floyd’s presence has given über wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald a complement that potentially could give Arizona one of the best pass-catcher tandems in the NFL.

The last time the Cardinals could lay claim to the league’s elite at both WR positions was 2008 when Anquan Boldin raced alongside Fitzgerald and led Arizona to Super Bowl.

And guess where the 2013 Super Bowl will be played … in the city of New Orleans, which happens to be home of the French Quarter and all things France to tourists throughout the United States.

Seriously, those who thought the Cardinals did not do anything in the offseason have even less of an argument now. The organization was so cash-strapped exiting the 2011 season that signing anyone, much less making a big splash in free agency, seemed impossible.

Arizona lost one player – cornerback Richard Marshall – to the Miami Dolphins and signed William Gay from the Pittsburgh Steelers to take his place.

The Cardinals’ offense, line included, appears infinitely better than it did entering 2011 with Fitzgerald and Floyd at wide receiver, with Beanie Wells and a recovering Ryan Williams in the backfield and with quarterback Kevin Kolb entering the season with something to prove.

The defense, which tied for 18th in yards allowed with the Tennessee Titans last season, hasn’t regressed, and the Cardinals team that went to the Super Bowl in 2008 ranked 28th in the league in total defense.

Campbell should help the defense rank better than that for years to come.

With a lot more French bread in his pocket.