Packers News: Erik Walden bolts for the Colts All Green Bay Packers All the Time
The Colts gave Walden $16 million
The Colts gave Walden $16 million

Who says there’s no such thing as exciting free agent news in Green Bay?

Former Packers outside linebacker Erik Walden raised some eyebrows today by reaching an agreement with the Indianapolis Colts on a contract worth $16 million over four years. Walden, 27, expects to be a starter opposite Robert Mathis, according to Bob McGinn on Twitter.

In three seasons with the Packers, Walden accounted for nine sacks. Among the 34 outside linebackers that played in a 3-4 scheme last season, Pro Football Focus graded Walden dead-last. In 2011, Walden also graded out dead-last among the 28 3-4 outside linebackers that played at least 25 percent of their team’s snaps.

Just last summer, the Packers signed Walden to a one-year contract worth $700,000. Apparently, the Colts felt Walden’s 2012 season justified a pay raise of over $15 million.

Free agency never disappoints. The first wave of free agency brings both the expected moves (Mike Wallace to the Dolphins) as well as some head scratchers (Walden).

Not surprisingly, the financially cautious Packers have yet to dive into the free agent market.

Pro Football Talk reported that Green Bay is the favorite to sign running back Steven Jackson. Take that for what it’s worth, as it could simply be Jackson’s agent trying to drive up his client’s price tag. Personally, I’d be surprised if the Packers are willing to match the 30-year-old running back’s financial demands.

Free agent defensive lineman Chris Canty visited the Packers last week, but he visited and signed with the Baltimore Ravens today, according to his Twitter account.

If you’re sitting on pins and needles waiting for the Packers to make a big free agent splash, it’s probably safe to stand up and find your recliner.


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Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.


23 thoughts on “Packers News: Erik Walden bolts for the Colts

    1. This, according to Albert Breer on Twitter: “As it turns out, the Packers’ doctors wouldn’t sign off on Chris Canty after his physical. The Chiefs, Titans and Ravens obviously did.”

      1. Anyone else have the feeling that the Packers medical staff are just as concerned about the players’ long term health as most teams are concerned about if they can get their money’s worth out of the player before their bodies fall apart?

        That’s the feeling I have, and while it’s not the most competitive angle, I have to say i’m not only okay with it, I’m proud that the Packers organization looks at their employees as more than just a product to put on the field to win games, but as people with families and a life to look forward to after football.

        my $0.02

  1. That sounds like a lot for Walden until you realize AJ Hawk makes twice as much as is no better.

    Rumor is Canty to the Ravens. We’ll see.

  2. Thanks for the compensatory pick next year, Indy. Most people around here would have paid you to take Walden.

    1. Great point Mudduck!

      With that kind of price tag, so long as Walden does capture the starting job, the Packers should definitely get a nice compensatory pick out of this.

      It’s almost like Christmas in March.

      1. I almost think he has to based on his salary, even if he’s no good they have to play him this year at least

  3. How stupid are the Colts? Jumped on Walden the 1st day of FA and grossly over payed him as if he was a hot item?
    They could have waited a month after nobody wanted him, then signed him for a fraction of the price. …

    1. Hey, to be fair… we’ll see.

      Maybe they are planning on making him strictly a situational pass rusher, Who knows, if Erik is only on the field on third and longs, maybe he doesn’t fizzle out by the middle of the season and he turns out to be a sack machine with all that energy and no need to worry about the run.. Or maybe IND just thinks they see the same things in Walden the Packers did, but they’re more confident they can get it out of him.

      Awwh, heck, you’re right.. WTF were they thinking?

      1. As a situational pass rusher—and Walden can get to the QB—that’s a lot of cap money to throw at a guy. Especially when there’s so much tape out there that shows what he CAN’T do.

        1. I think most Packers fans would tell you that when he was at the height of his career and being utilized as a situational pass rusher, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila was worth that kind of contract and then some, and he could not play the run either.

          Don’t get me wrong- Walden is not that dominant and I know we’re talking about two different positions- I’m just pointing out that you can never underestimate the worth of a pass rush specialist in the NFL. If you can consistently harass the QB on third and long in this league, you are a valued commodity.

  4. Do the Colts need an inside linebacker too? Because we have one who will count about $25 Million against the cap the next 3 years and hasn’t sniffed a TO in 3 years.

  5. Glad to see Walden get pd by someone, especially not the Packers. He certainly didn’t play OLB for the Packers at a high level, but I figured a team transitioning to a 34 or in serious need would py Walden. Just apprecitate his efforts even if he wasn’t as talented as others at it. He is an assignment sure kinda guy. Who knows maybe he’ll get better on another teams 34 D. Happy its just not in GB anymore.

    1. The one thing Walden was not, was an assignment sure guy.

      He was much more accountable last season, but still not ‘sure’, and his previous time with the Packers it was almost like he had no idea what the play call was.

      I agree though, he’s balls to the walls when he’s out there… He just doesn’t know which walls to put his balls to half the time.

  6. No loss! Walden has no concept of holding his end and forcing the runner to stretch the field. Now, what’s this crap about the Packer Medical Staff? Hadn’t heard this before.

  7. I got a call from the Colts yesterday asking if I was available to play SS at 4 for $16M. They said my Pop Warner film and 5’11”, 210 lb. physique might make me a good downhill run stopper, despite my 7.50-40 time.

    I told them my pride wasn’t for sale…

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