Dec 24, 2011; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is pressured by San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Shaun Phillips (95) during the first half at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

Potential Camp Casualty: Shaun Phillips?

NFL.com lists Shaun Phillips as a potential camp casualty in their latest article. Phillips is due to make $4.4 million in his base salary this season and he is in the final year of his contract.

In camp, there will be a lot of bodies competing at the linebacker spot. We just signed Jarret Johnson from the Baltimore Ravens and he is expected to start at one outside linebacker spot. We also brought in the young rookie from South Carolina Melvin Ingram. There is a lot of hype around Ingram and his potential. Still on the roster is last season’s sack leader Antwan Barnes and former first round draft pick Larry English. So much competition at the position.

Last season, Phillips was slowed by injuries and finished the season with only 3.5 sacks. He has been an impact player in the past and this season he will be looking to cash in on a contract. He will be hungry to show his worth to the rest of the league. It would be surprising to see him back here in 2013 with all the depth on the roster. The starters could be Larry English (laughing that I even entertained that) and Melvin Ingram by that time.

Phillips is expected to be that impact player on defense again. He is the best pass rusher on the team and he still carries a swagger to him that most of the roster does not have.

If he fails to produce, the rook will be pushing him for playing time. Antwan Barnes will be pushing for playing time. It will be up to Shaun to make big things happen. I think he will.

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