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Colts Sign Former Packers OLB Erik Walden

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Colts Sign Former Packers OLB Erik Walden

The Indianapolis Colts have signed former Green Bay Packers linebacker Erik Walden, and the reported deal is a doozy.

According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Walden and the Colts agreed in principle to a four-year deal worth $16 million.

If the numbers are correct, Walden will have secured $15 million more than Green Bay was willing to fork out late in free agency last season.

In April of 2012, the Packers re-signed the 27-year-old outside linebacker to a one-year deal worth only $700,000. The contract included zero dollars guaranteed.

Less than a year later, and Walden is potentially breaking the bank in Indianapolis.

The numbers (which—to be fair—could very well be backloaded, providing the Colts an easy out after one or two years) are even more shocking when assessing Walden's play over the last two seasons.

According to Pro Football Focus, Walden has graded out as the NFL's worst 3-4 outside linebacker in back-to-back years.

Walden's 2012 game-by-game grades, via PFF.

In 2011, Walden played a career-high 932 snaps and finished with an overall grade of minus-27.4. His numbers included three sacks, 14 quarterback hits and 22 hurries. Last season, he played 882 snaps and finished at minus-30.4, with a line of 4/11/15.

Yet according to McGinn, the Colts are signing Walden with an eye towards starting him opposite Robert Mathis in the 3-4 defense.

Full details on the numbers have not been released, but a baseline structure of four years and $16 million seems overly generous at best and foolishly reckless at the very worst. GM Ryan Grigson and the Colts appeared to have made one of the first major overpays of the new league year.

Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (23) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jmac34's picture

This contract is absolutely awful. So glad he is out of GB

Evan's picture

Absolutely insane.

Jamie's picture

Before I saw the PPF chart, I was thinking that's an awful lot of caiiish for two or three really good games a season.

Stunning really...

Derek in Co's picture

This is the best free agent signing the Packers have ever made! Yes!!!!!

Lou's picture

Unless may calendar is off and its April 1st the only thing in regards to the Packers that could be MORE SURPRISING would be to see McGinn tweet, "Mason Crosby has won the Adam Vinatari Award as the most accurate and pressure proof kicker in the NFL for 2012". Time to send the Colt's GM thank you cards.

Evan's picture

This Jennings stuff is getting interesting.

Jamie's picture

Where you seeing Jennings stuff?

Evan's picture

Pro Football Talk:

Also, from Packer Report: @PackerReport: Source who talked to Rams says Jackson likely will be signing with #Packers.

xuyee's picture

Hey this counts in our favor for compensatory picks, right? That means we could sign Steve Jackson, probably for similar $, and still get a comp pick for losing Jennings. Score!

Denver's picture

Who ever thought the Pack would get a comp pick out of Walden after last season?

Mojo's picture

A comp pick - wow. And since they're looking at him as a starter, it might not be that bad a pick. Spread some manure and a flower grows. Now if Zombo can generate some interest...

cow42's picture

yep - even i don't get this one.

maybe they figure that the Packers coaching staff wasn't using him correctly... or that he'll be more productive with better talent around him.

Point Packer's picture

Yeah, Clay Mathews really is a horrible on the opposing end..


MarkinMadison's picture

"even i don't get this one."

I'm not sure what you're trying to say about yourself here cow, but I don't think it adds up to a complement.

Nick Perry's picture

LMAO!! Clearly the Colts didn't watch the Packers lose to the 49ers. Waldon is still looking for Kapernick!

Ct Sharpe Cheddar's picture

Clearly they did'nt watch thier own game agaist the Pack in the second half

bigfog's picture

Wow. Do the Colts play the Bears every week? Only reason I can figure as to why you spend this kind of money on Eric Walden.

Jamie's picture

Maybe they brought him in to show the defense how not to defend the read option.

Makes as much sense as any other reason I can come up with for this signing.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

WTF are they doing with my main man JERRY EFFING HUGHES??? Oh, and this signing is hilarious! I had hope for Walden in the past, as he has flashed on several occasions, but, alas, he's the definition of J.A.G.


PackerBacker's picture


Who is this guys agent. I want him to work for me. I don't have a contract at work, but I still think he could have me earning 250k by the end of the week.


Chris Davis's picture

I agree! I want to work for Indy!

packsmack25's picture

Keep in mind, this is the guy that paid him:

Evan's picture


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