Free-agent defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker will likely have multiple suitors bidding for his services for the 2016 season.
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Patriots' Past Interest Could Keep Walker in Detroit
Sunday, Feb. 21
The Patriots reportedly offered Walker a three-year deal last season after he spent his first three years with the New Orleans Saints, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Walker told reporters he spurned the then-defending Super Bowl champions to sign with the Detroit Lions, with whom he registered nine tackles in just four games before breaking his fibula and dislocating his ankle.
Reiss alluded to a potential chess match between Walker's former team and his possible suitors:
Now he’s scheduled to hit the unrestricted free-agent market, and I’m interested to see if former Patriots director of pro scouting Bob Quinn—now the Lions’ general manager—ensures Walker stays put knowing New England’s past interest. Walker is coming off a broken fibula that limited him to four games in 2015, but he still landed on one analyst’s list as a top-50 free agent, which made me think the Patriots’ pursuit last offseason was reflective of them being ahead of the curve on a rising player.
In his only full 16-game season—2014 with the Saints—Walker had 19 tackles and 2.5 sacks while starting just one game. If the Patriots still have interest, the 25-year-old lineman could add depth to a defense that was second in the NFL with 49 sacks in 2015 and ninth in rushing yards allowed per game at 98.8.