Anthony Walker, one of the most well-respected and talented players from the Indianapolis Colts' defense, has signed with the Browns.
Here's five things to know about Cleveland's newest linebacker:
1. Walker is a tackling machine. That's what jumps out most among the statistics from his four seasons with the Colts, where he made over 100 tackles in both 2018 and 2019 and finished second on the team with 92 tackles in 2020. Walker excelled alongside All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard and gave the Colts one of the best run-stuffing linebacker rooms in the NFL. Walker also recorded five pass deflections and has snagged one interception in each of the last three seasons while starting 46 of 48 possible games with the Colts.
2. His Indianapolis teammates will greatly miss him. Leonard sent out several tweets Friday after news broke he was signing with the Browns. Among them: "Crazy to see such an amazing person, leader, player and a friend leave the locker room" and "If y'all actually understood the impact he has on a locker room!" Cornerback Kenny Moore also tweeted "You'll never understand the affect a teammate can have on another."
3. Walker was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft and built a solid career at Northwestern, where he made 62 tackles and two interceptions in 13 games his senior year. Walker excelled at making tackles behind the line of scrimmage — he recorded 29 of them in his final two seasons — but still faced a bit of an uphill climb at reaching starting player status in the NFL. He didn't become a full-time starter until 2018 when Frank Reich became head coach and listed Walker as the Week 1 starter despite Walker missing most of training camp.
4. Walker is the third big free-agent addition the Browns have added to their defense this offseason. He joins safety John Johnson III, and DE Takkarist McKinley as a defender who could be listed at the top of the depth chart at the end of training camp. He'll join Mack Wilson, Jacob Phillips, Sione Takitaki and Malcolm Smith, whom the Browns re-signed Thursday, as the top linebackers on the roster.
5. Baker Mayfield threw one of his eight interceptions in 2020 to Walker in Week 5, when Cleveland thumped Indianapolis 32-23.