Cameron Jordan has become one of the NFL's premier pass rushers in his first decade in the NFL and is on the verge of becoming the 36th player to reach 100 sacks in his career. Jordan is also heading toward the back nine of his career, coming off a season in which he finished with the fewest pressures (57) and sacks (7.5) he's had in years.
The New Orleans Saints pass rusher finished with his lowest sack total since 2016, but still earned his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl appearance. The low sack and pressure totals just inspire Jordan to put up better numbers as he enters his 11th season in the NFL -- thanks to some inspiration from two of his peers who have been productive in year 11.
Age is just a number.
"You talk about Calais Campbell [who], after he turned 30, had his best year," Jordan said, via ESPN's Mike Triplett. "Brandon Graham having his best years after he turned 30. I've talked to Bruce Smith and I've looked at Mike Strahan's careers. These are the years where they really made strides for a push-off of being great. It's like 30 to that 34, 35 era, that you see not only the combination of that physical talent but ... [also] the wisdom play in. And that's what I've really been excited about."
Jordan will be 32 for the 2021 season, yet Graham and Campbell demonstrated a defensive end can still play at a high level at that age. Graham record 56 pressures and eight sacks in 2020 (his age-32 season), earning a Pro Bowl appearance. Graham finished the year as one of just four players to record eight sacks, 13 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles (Aaron Donald, JJ Watt, Haason Reddick). Campbell also made the Pro Bowl in his age-32 season (2018), finishing with 53 pressures, 22 quarterback hits, and 10.5 sacks. He joined Donald and Danielle Hunter has one of only three players with 10 sacks and 20 tackles for loss.
Jordan's 94.5 sacks are sixth in the NFL since he entered the league in 2011 and his 184 quarterback hits rank ninth during that span. There's still good years left of football for Jordan, despite him becoming one of the older edge rushers in the league.