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Packers Re-Sign Erik Walden

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Packers Re-Sign Erik Walden

The Green Bay Packers aren't giving up on outside linebacker Erik Walden just yet.

Despite an roller coaster 2011 season in which Walden faced both legal uncertainty and a lost starting job, Packers GM Ted Thompson announced Monday that the team had re-signed the 26-year-old for the 2012 season. Immediate contract details were not available.

One of Thompson's free-agent pickups during the 2010 season, Walden burst onto the scene during the Packers' run to Super Bowl XLV and later won himself the team's starting job opposite Clay Matthews to begin the 2011 season.

In 15 starts during 2011, Walden recorded 86 tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. However, Walden was arrested after a domestic dispute in late November and then lost his starting position late in the season.

While the Packers defense as a whole struggled throughout 2011, Walden's play was a sore spot for much of the year. According to Pro Football Focus, no 3-4 outside linebacker graded out worse last season, and Walden was also the NFL's worst run defender at the position.

Given those struggles and how little interest he received on the open market, it remains likely that Green Bay got Walden at a cheap price. The deal is likely only for one year, too.

Walden's re-signing shouldn't alter the Packers' plans leading into Thursday's NFL draft, as outside linebacker remains high on the priority list for Thompson. You can't imagine the Packers brought back Walden with the idea that he'll be anything more than a backup next season.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (35) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

ohenry78's picture

I just hope that this isn't TT "filling" out hold at OLB so that he doesn't have to draft there.

ohenry78's picture

Wow, oops. Meant to say "TT "filling" our hole at OLB".

Mike's picture

TT still needs to draft either an OLB or a 5-tech that specializes in pass rushing in the 1st Round. If Harrison Smith is the pick I might barf. I was able to talk myself into the Harrell pick at the time but I don't think I'll be able to comprehend or accept a pick that's not a front 7 pass rusher

jmac34's picture

The Packers may not have given up on him, but I have. He is the Jarret Bush of the OLB's except he hits women and has no special teams skills

Normthe1's picture


Dude has an alleged brainfart , spends the weekend in jail, doesn't go to court and it all dies a natural death.

He's no CM3 but he can admittedly, barely, hold his own so a 1 year deal fir the minimum is not a real high price to pay...

Kelly's picture

I'm sorry, beating a woman isn't a brainfart. It's a crime. He pled to a lesser offense but whatever, I'm talking to a brick wall.

But if you want to talk football. He's just another in a long list of happily medicre bookends to Matthews. Walden is a placeholder until something better comes along in the position, nothing more, nothing less.

And Jmac's right. He has no special team skills which places him on the expendible list. Not reading too much into resigning him.

gbfpage's picture

I heard this and instantly got sick to my stomach. If this is TTs idea of fixing the OLB its time for him to go

tonymission's picture

Dude, seriously? Relax.

PackersRS's picture


JakeTan's picture

Sick to your stomach?

What he did was awful but everyone deserves a 2nd chance. We give 2nd chances to crooks and thieves in this country, why not Walden. TT knows he's got something with him so why not pick it up for next to nothing.

I agree with other comments, good back-up for the price.

JJB's picture

This makes me sick. He's had 2 good games.

Evan's picture

Good god. Everyone take a deep breath. This is not TT's answer to the OLB problem. He's young, cheap depth.

Normthe1's picture

+1 with an Hallelujah for extra emphasis...

QOTSA1's picture

I'm kind of surprised that people hate this move so much. My guess is the Packers signed him for the veteran minimum and it won't change the Packers draft plans. It seems like a very low risk move.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Good get. Another affordable body to compete who has flashed at times (anybody bitching about his 3 sacks against Chicago a couple years ago?). And folks, trust me, this doesn't mean Ted is now content at the position... C'mon man! Of course he isn't an instant success like James Harrison was...


Bearmeat's picture

agreed Fitz.

New cow smell's picture

Who cares?
Just another name added to the list of guys who have about a 30% or so chance of making the final roster...

5th round draft pick
6th rd pick
7 rd pick
7rd pick

Rocky70's picture

The draft will determine the future of many on this list. If TT can 'focus' for 3 days starting Thursday night, most of the list will end up ex-Packers. (hopefully)

Evan's picture

Obviously there is no predicting the future, but "most" seems like an exaggeration.

If TT has a monster draft and all those guys get cut, so be it. That'd be great. But I would be surprised if Lattimore, So’oto, Francois, Genus, Borel and/or Gurley weren't on the roster next year.

EDIT: Also, as if TT isn't "focused" on the draft for as many as 300 days a year. I'm sure he'll be "focused" this weekend.

Rocky70's picture

Only 7 of the list were on the 53 man in 2011. The rest were PS or IRs. Therefore, replacing only 4 of them would be "most" of them. Replacing 4 of the 7 is pretty much a guarantee.

Evan's picture

I don't really get why you're now focusing on only the 7 that were on the active roster last year as opposed to all 12 of those guys who are on the roster now, but I really don't care that much about the semantics of "most."

All I'm saying is I would be surprised if the 6 guys I listed (make that 7, I think Wynn is a decent rotational guy) didn't make the roster this year.

Rocky70's picture

If TT drafts well, he'll keep his draft picks over any UDFA's from any year.

Sorry, but Gurley and/or Borel have little chance of being on the 53 in 2012. PS WRs usually bounce from PS to PS. Very few make the jump to anyone's 53.

CSS's picture

42 practice squad WR's and TE's were called from the practice squad to active rosters last year. Equal that amount were signed to futures (like Gurley) to avoid being activated on another teams roster (like Gurley would have been to the Vikings). If it weren't for mid to late season moves comparable to the Packers and Gurley there would be between 65 - 80 WR's and TE's promoted either internally from the practice squad on the active roster or signed to an active roster elsewhere.

Rocky70's picture

All meaningless numbers depending upon what point you're trying to make. I could easily present to you PS & WR numbers from the last ten years that show (without a doubt) that most PS WRs bounce to someone's 53 as a late season injury replacement or as a 'warm body' for the next season's TC. Very few see a 53 & even fewer hang on & succeed in the NFL. (Maybe that's why they're on the PS to begin with, ya think)

If you weren't so concerned about trying to usurp anything I post, you might actually have something to add to discussions here at CHTV. Unfortunately, you're either an angry 15 year old or just plain incapable.

CSS's picture

No anger here, Rocky. Just responding to your:

"PS WRs usually bounce from PS to PS. Very few make the jump to anyone’s 53."

Which is inaccurate. And, as usual, when called on a bluff you insult, flounce or the question/response is invisible.

PackersRS's picture


With the recent relased info, there's room for 90 players on the roster. The Packers don't have even 70 players on contract.

It's camp competition. Nothing more.

Idiot Fan's picture

And is it so terrible to have a backup who has logged a decent amount of game hours? It's not like we can count on all of our starters staying healthy all year.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture


MIKE47SMITH's picture

I never thought a post about Walden would generate this much discusion! lol I guess everyone is anxious for the draft.

MIKE47SMITH's picture

Training camp competition is all this is. I'd be suprised if there are less than 8- 10 OLB's fighting for a spot come July.

Shawn's picture

With the off season roster size at 90 now TT is going to take advantage of the opportunity to have as many bodies in camp as possible. Walden is a step a head of any rookie because he know the system and he has shown flashes of good play.

Kelly's picture

But not flashes of GREAT play. +1 for the excellent use of adjectives!

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

I'd call three sacks in one game GREAT play. Being that it only happened once, a flash would be exactly how to characterize it.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

To summarize, he did indeed "flash" "great play"... Once.

Shawn's picture

Who cares if it's not Great play if he ends up being the second best BACK UP (fourth best) OLB on the team, so be it. We will then need him for depth. Or he could just end up as training camp fodder and we could ask him to be on the practice squad. Ether way better for us. Like I said 90 player max now.

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