Multiple Cleveland Browns players made a public plea for the team to re-sign veteran linebacker Anthony Walker Jr.
Walker’s situation is a bit unique as he’s coming off a significant injury but his reputation in the Browns’ locker room is undisputed. Walker tore his left quadricep tendon in September but there’s a chance he’d be ready for the start of the regular season.
With the Browns in need of a starting middle linebacker, cornerback Greg Newsome II and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah took to Twitter to petition for Walker to return to the Browns.
Owusu-Koramoah tagged Walker in a tweet, saying the team needs him back. Newsome chimed in, writing “FACTS!”
According to a report from Noah Weiskopf of Browns Digest, Walker would like to be back with the Browns as well.
“Browns free agent LB Anthony Walker is interested in returning to Cleveland. I’m told he’s loved by teammates and was massive part of the team, especially in the locker room. The ball appears to be in the Browns’ court at the moment, but Walker is open to a return,” Weiskopf tweeted.
Walker Has Been Productive With Browns
Walker was having a strong start to the year when he went down with the quad injury. He posted an overall grade of 82.7 on Pro Football Focus and was elite in coverage. Walker was the Browns’ leading tackler in 2021, notching 113 tackles.
Walker’s impact on the locker room was felt when he went down, with multiple players and coaches speaking out on what he meant to the team’s morale.
“It is a huge loss with Anthony Walker if this is a longer-term thing because we know what he brings to the football side of things, but he is a captain and he is a leader,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said.
Myles Garrett also chimed in with his take.
“A guy like that going down really lights a fire underneath you,” Garrett said. “Seeing him go down in that moment it just really showed us how fragile the game is for anyone of us and no rep is really guaranteed. You’ve got to go out there and give it your all, knowing that he was going to if he could’ve gotten up and continued playing. We were just trying to play for him.”
Walker Eager for Next NFL Opportunity
If Walker is healthy, he’ll likely have suitors. He’s a productive player and won’t break the bank. His estimated market value is $4.4 million per year, according to Spotrac.
“At the end of the day, I hope I’m here,” Walker said told Cleveland.com during the final week of the season. “I hope I have a job in the NFL. That’s just how I’ve always pictured it. Any opportunity that I have to play football, I’m willing to take advantage of it. So whether that’s here or somewhere else, I’ll be happy to just have a job.”
The Browns are bringing back one of their own, re-signing linebacker Sione Takitaki to a one-year deal. Like Walker, Takitaki is coming off a serious injury, tearing his ACL toward the end of last season.