The Browns announced Wednesday they'll be bringing back two well-respected and reliable players from each side of the ball.
Cleveland agreed to terms with LB Anthony Walker Jr. and OL Chris Hubbard. Walker led the Browns with 113 tackles last season while also recording one sack and two pass breakups, while Hubbard only played in one game in 2021 due to a triceps injury but was heavily relied on in previous seasons as a swing tackle capable of playing multiple O-line positions.
Walker, who relayed play calls from defensive coordinator Joe Woods to the defense for most games in 2021, is a five-year veteran who joined the Browns last year after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Colts. He was drafted in the fifth round in 2017 out of Northwestern and has 456 tackles, 21 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks in his career.
"Last year when we brought in A-Walk, we knew we were getting a smart and productive linebacker," head coach Kevin Stefanski said. "He proved us right in those areas. He also possesses those leadership qualities that you can't have enough of on your team and we are thrilled to have him back."
Hubbard is an eight-year veteran who joined the Browns in 2018 and has played 42 games with 34 starts as both a tackle and guard.
"Versatility is something we value and Hub has proven that he can play at a consistent level at just about every spot on the offensive line," Stefanski said. "He is working really hard to make a full recovery from is injury and his veteran presence brings so much to our O-line room. I'm glad he will be back."
Walker's return means the Browns will have all three of their primary linebacker starters from last season — Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Sione Takitaki are also under contract for 2022. Hubbard, meanwhile, will likely join James Hudson III, Elijah Nkansah and Alex Taylor in the competition for the leading swing tackle role next season.