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Joe Campbell, Former Saints First-Round Pick, Dies at 68

Former Saints first-round pick and Super Bowl champion Joe Campbell has passed away at the age of 68, according to his family.
Joe Campbell

Joe Campbell, a five-year NFL veteran, one-time Super Bowl champion, and former first-round pick, has died at the age of 68. According to his brother, Campbell was found dead and is believed to have suffered a cardiac event while going for a hike.

Former Super Bowl Champion Joe Campbell Dies at 68

Joe Campbell originally began his football journey as a first-round pick in the 1977 NFL Draft. Selected by the New Orleans Saints, the Maryland product appeared in 14 games as a rookie while making six starts. While on the field, he recorded half a sack and two fumble recoveries. He followed this up with his best season in 1978, starting in all 16 games while recording 5.5 sacks. He took a bit of a step back in 1979, recording two sacks in 10 games while only making four starts.

Campbell began the 1980 season with the New Orleans Saints, but didn’t record an official statistic during his five games with the organization. The defensive end spent the remainder of the season with the Oakland Raiders, although he remained in a depth role. Still though, even in a minor role, Campbell earned a Super Bowl ring as a member of the 1980 Raiders.

The Maryland product returned to the Raiders for the start of the 1981 season, but only saw the field for three games. The Raiders parted ways with Campbell, and he spent the remainder of the season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Campbell’s career came to an end following the 1981 season, and the first-round pick finished his career with eight sacks. It’s important to note that tackles were not an official statistic during Campbell’s career, so there is no way of knowing how many times he took down the ball carrier.

Following his playing days, Joe Campbell earned a spot in the Delaware Sports Museum Hall of Fame. He also spent the 1990’s teaching physical education at Ambassador University.

Main Photo: Stephen Lew – USA Today Sports


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