CLEVELAND — First it was a safety, then it was a cornerback and on Friday the Cleveland Browns targeted another area of need on the defense, signing former Colts linebacker Anthony Walker, the team announced Friday.
Walker agreed to a 1-year, $3.5 million dollar deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The linebacker had visited the Browns Thursday and the team apparently liked what they saw, agreeing to terms the next day.
Walker was selected by the Colts in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft and was the Colts starting linebacker for the past three seasons.
Over the course of his four-year career, Walker has recorded 343 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, three interceptions, 11 passes defended, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Pro Football Focus has graded Walker at a 54.3 overall over the past three years.
Walker’s teammates took to social media and had high praise for the Browns new linebacker.
Colts linebacker Darius Leonard wrote, “Amazing player man, he does everything the right way! It sucks that he’s leaving but Cleveland is gaining a Dawg! He’s a great leader and he’s going to lead your defense to be great! I will truly miss him! I give him a lot of credit for my success! I wouldn’t be me without him!”
Amazing player man, he does everything the right way! It sucks that he’s leaving but Cleveland is gaining a Dawg! He’s a great leader and he’s going to lead your defense to be great! I will truly miss him! I give him a lot of credit for my success! I wouldn’t be me without him!— Darius Leonard (@dsleon45) March 19, 2021
The Browns recently re-signed veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith, but with B.J. Goodson on the market, Walker fills that void. Walker will join Smith, Sione Takitaki, Mack Wilson and Jacob Phillips in the linebacker room.
Browns General Manager Andrew Berry has worked diligently in the first few days of NFL Free Agency to add talent and depth across the defense, signing safety John Johnson, defensive end Takkarist McKinley and cornerback Troy Hill and re-signing Smith.
The Browns could still address the defensive line, particularly the edge rush, in the days to come, but are also expected to add pieces to the defense via the draft in April.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.