NFL teams are wrapping up their offseason programs soon, and most of the free agent signings that will happen have already occurred.
But one particularly notable player to Colts fans is surprisingly still on the market: outside linebacker Erik Walden.
We have hardly heard anything about Walden since free agency began, but today the New York Post’s Brian Costello reported that the New York Jets have had talks with him recently.
The Jets have had talks with free agent LB Erik Walden in recent weeks. A name to keep an eye on. He had 11 sacks for the Colts last year.— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) June 9, 2017
Walden visited the Titans earlier this offseason, but he hasn’t received much interest - at least that we’ve heard of. While that might seem strange, we don’t know what money Walden is asking for, nor do we know what role he wants versus what teams want.
He spent the last four seasons with the Colts, with whom he played in 61 games and started 60, recording 166 tackles, 23 sacks, six forced fumbles, and three passes defensed. He had a career year in 2016, recording eleven sacks and three forced fumbles to go with 42 tackles.
Walden was tied for eighth in the NFL last year in sacks, so in a league desperate for pass rushers it’s surprising that he hasn’t found a job somewhere. He’s far from a great pass rusher and his eleven sacks are not near indicative of his skills in that area, but you’d still think that a team would be interested in adding him to see what he can give them in that area. The Colts moved on from Walden with a new regime focusing on getting younger, and while the Colts have added a number of outside linebackers since then, Walden has remained on the market. Perhaps he’s nearing a deal with a team, however, as it sounds like there’s interest from the Jets.