Several Cleveland Browns players want linebacker Anthony Walker to be re-signed in free agency, but a new report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter says that Walker is exploring other options.
NFL Insider Adam Schefter Reports That Linebacker Anthony Walker is Visiting the Washington Commanders
ESPN reporter Adam Schefter tweeted on Monday, March 20, “Browns free agent linebacker Anthony Walker is visiting the Commanders today.”
Perhaps Walker and the Browns just couldn’t get on the same page as far his contract goes. Faithful Dawgs Podcast commented, “There [have] been reports that Cleveland would like to bring him back but a deal doesn’t seem close at this time.”
And on March 16, Browns Digest reporter Noah Weiskopf said that the ball is in the Browns’ court, tweeting, “Source: #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.”
Walker’s Teammates & Browns Fans Alike Want Him to Re-Sign With Cleveland
Many players and fans think that letting Walker walk is not a smart move for the Cleveland Browns.
Mac Blank, the Browns writer at BetJack, took to Twitter after Schefter’s report about Commanders visit and spouted some facts about why the Browns should keep Walker.
It’s a bad idea if the #Browns don’t resign Anthony Walker Jr. In 16 games:
-119 total tackles
-44 run stops
-Zero TDs allowed in coverage
When there is a huge drop off the second a player leaves the field, you should keep him around.
One fan wrote on Twitter that he’s “surprised to see the Browns willing to let Anthony Walker Jr. leave” because if he does leave, “there’s some serious work needed to be done at linebacker.”
In the replies, that fan thinks that the Browns have already lined up someone else if they’re letting Walker go.
But Some Fans Think Walker Isn’t the Right Fit For Cleveland
On an episode of the Ultimate Cleveland Sports Show on March 3, commenter Garrett Bush said that he doesn’t think Walker is enough of a playmaker to keep now that they have a new defensive coordinator in Jim Schwartz.
“You installin’ a new defense, right? And you got guys that ain’t even cleared to perform, to practice. This the most pivotal time when learning a defense, getting people together. Anthony Walker, I like Anthony Walker. He’s cool. He’s not a playmaker. He’s a JAG, he’s just a guy you put in there,” said Bush.
Co-host Jay Crawford pointed out that everybody raves about Walker’s leadership in the locker room and Bush replied, “Leadership don’t get ball carriers on the ground. You can’t Captain Planet nobody on the ground. … No, I need you to make plays. JOK (Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah) is there, he’s fast. Let’s see if Schwartz can work with him. But I need a ballplayer in the middle.”
To his credit, Walker actually retweeted that video clip with laughing emojis and wrote, “Love to hear it.”
In the replies, a fan said that he thinks Walker is a hell of a linebacker and “the key to [the Browns] defense,” to which Bush replied, “I like Anthony Walker, he was our best LB last year, however, we still [need] more linebackers to make plays. He’s coming off an injury last year and he’s a free agent.”
Walker has played six seasons in the NFL, four with the Indianapolis Colts and two with the Cleveland Browns. In the four full seasons he played (leaving out his rookie year and his injury year in 2022), he averaged over 70 tackles and over 36 assists for over 100 combined tackles on average.
He said in an interview in November 2022 that he would “love to finish [his] career” with Cleveland.
“I would definitely love to finish my career here, if it works out that way. But at the end of the day, I would love to just play football again at this point, just to be out there running around with my teammates and playing a game that I love,” said Walker.
He also added that when he knows it’s time to hang it up, he’ll be ready.
“I tell people all the time, football is great, I love it,” Walker said. “But I’ve always prided myself on being more and doing more. So when that time comes, I’ll be ready to transition into whenever that is.”
The Browns just re-signed linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk to a one-year, $1.23 million deal with $500,000 guaranteed. They also re-signed center Ethan Pocic, linebacker Sione Takitaki, and backup cornerback AJ Green.