23

April

Report: Packers Resign OLB Erik Walden

Everyone take a deep breath and relax.

The Packers have announced that they have re-signed outside linebacker Erik Walden; details of the contract were not made available (which is a statement in itself), but considering the lack of interest Walden received during free agency and the fact that the signing is a mere 3 days before the NFL draft indicates that Walden was desperate to sign and probably took a 1 year minimum contract.

Walden was viewed as a potential starter after an impressive 2010 campaign, but literally saw the 2011 season fall apart as he started 15 games but ended up as a liability on defense, was replaced by Brad Jones during the playoffs and was the center of an ugly domestic violence dispute with his girlfriend that resulted in him having to spend Thanksgiving in jail.

My impression of the signing is more to take advantage of the larger roster size than anything to do with depth or playing time.  I’m sure if the Packers viewed Walden as either the starter or as a key backup, they wouldn’t have let him sit in free agency this long.   Right before the draft, basically all leverage is with the teams as 1) all the coveted players are probably already with new teams and 2) teams are hesitant to sign players as they waiting to see what players they can draft.  Walden and his agent probably figured that biting the bullet and signing a cheap contract with the Packers offered the best chance to compete for a spot.  As such, Walden’s contract does not likely include any signing bonus so his spot on the roster is anything but secure.

All in all, a pretty smart move by Thompson; if Walden returns to 2010 form and plays lights out, then the signing is a great value but if Walden doesn’t improve he ends up as a camp body and gets cut before the end of training camp.

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Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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15 Responses to “Report: Packers Resign OLB Erik Walden”

  1. Mojo says:

    Why?

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Cheap depth… He had good games early in the season. I haven’t given up on him completely.

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    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      No risk, moderate reward; simply put Thompson can’t lose, if Walden is better than Zombo/Lattimore/So’oto/ a rookie then great, if he’s worse then cut him and pay him nothing.

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  2. Ron LC says:

    A problem can’t be fixed if they don’t admit they have one. He was awful!

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    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      Not admitting the problem would be signing Walden to a long term contract, which he didn’t. Really think of Walden as a camp body, if you do I would think this is a pretty good signing cause he knows the system.

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  3. SchenySchen says:

    In reality, if they can teach him not to collapse the point rushing inside, he won’t give up nearly as many yards in the run game. His game took a huge stumble after the Thanksgiving domestic issue. Before that he wasn’t that bad. Clearly his mind was shot. This is a no-risk signing. GoPack!

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  4. David Wysocki says:

    There is no upside with Walden. The guy is a body, and one that now has at least some baggage. He was so bad last year that I was really hoping we would never see him again. There must have been a better OLB in free agency.

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    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      On the flip side there is no downside with Walden at a veteran 1 year minimum contract. There are a couple free agent linebackers that are probably better but I doubt any would take a minimum contract.

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  5. Pat Mc says:

    I seem to recall a pickup from Oakland where everyone said: Why? The guy was washed up and will be over paid. That guy was Woodson.

    Cheap experienced body for camp. If he has his head right he has a last chance to make the move. The OTA’s will help him with technique issues. The whole debacle with the girlfriend will help build his character. If TT finds someone better there is no doubt TT will drop this kid.

    It is up to this kid to make the best of his last chance. If he can make the leap, wow. If not, what was lost?

    The Pack see something there or they would not bring him back.

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  6. Steve Cheez says:

    I was all excited at first, then realized I had misread the headline: I thought it said “Packers OLB Erik Walden Resigns”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      lol, I don’t think you can resign a position that you don’t have; Walden was a free agent, though I suppose you could say that he resigned his free agent status

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  7. Big T says:

    its all about the ego with TT…doesn’t want to admit he picked a loser piece of buffalo dung

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    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      Thompson picked Walden from the “scrap heap” of free agency mid-season, Thompson likely doesn’t have any emotional attachment to him as he isn’t a guy who he drafted. Like I’ve said before, think of Walden as a camp body, does the signing sound that bad at that point? Even if you don’t think so, Walden can be cut to make space for a priority rookie free agent if one is interested in the Packers.

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  8. Will B says:

    Erik Walden has great potential and if GB signed him – they see it. If NFL players drop the idiot girlfriends, do not drive drunk, pay their bills, save money, do not participate in bounties and focus on practice, health and the game-success would come to each of them.

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