CLEVELAND — More than a week into the start of NFL free agency, the Cleveland Browns brought back a key member of their defense, agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with veteran linebacker Anthony Walker Jr., according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
This marks the third consecutive offseason that the 27-year-old Walker has signed a one-year contract with Cleveland. After tallying a team-high 113 tackles, including 69 solo stops, in 13 games in 2021, the Northwestern product re-signed with the Browns ahead of the 2022 campaign, totaling 13 tackles (seven solo) in Cleveland's first three games.
Walker's sixth NFL season, however, came to a premature end when he suffered a torn quad tendon in his left leg in the Browns' Week 3 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football. Without Walker in the lineup, Cleveland's defense suffered as the Browns posted a disappointing 7-10, missing the playoffs for the second straight season.
The Browns' re-signing of Walker comes one week after Cleveland re-signed another linebacker who suffered a season-ending injury in 2022 in Sione Takitaki. Like Walker, Takitaki, who suffered a torn ACL in a win over the Houston Texans on Dec. 4, re-signed on a one-year contract.
Cleveland's re-signing of Walker comes just days after he visited the Washington Commanders as an unrestricted free agent. In addition to re-signing Walker and Takitaki, the Browns have bolstered their defense this offseason with the additions of defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, safety Juan Thornhill, defensive tackle Maurice Hurst and defensive tackle Trysten Hill.