After a breakout year with the Arizona Cardinals in 2019, inside linebacker Joe Walker is on the move. He will not be leaving the NFC West, however, as he reportedly agreed to terms with the San Francisco 49ers on a one-year deal per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
The #49ers are signing LB Authentic Joe Walker Jersey to a one-year deal, source said. Walker took a first-round pick’s job last year, started 11 games and had 65 tackles for the #Cardinals. Now, he stays in the NFC West.
2:31 AM – Mar 24, 2020
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Walker overtook Haason Reddick for a starting inside linebacker position based on snap counts, playing 40 compared to Reddick’s 36 in a 31-9 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 8 last season. Then, on Oct. 29, Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said Walker “earned” the right to start at the position alongside Jordan Hicks in the team’s base 3-4 defense over the former first-round pick Reddick, who was subsequently converted to outside linebacker.
The Cardinals acquired Walker on Sept. 19, 2018, signing him from the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad. After appearing in 14 games with no starts in Arizona that year, Walker exceeded expectations in 2019 playing in all 16 games and starting 11. He finished the year with 63 tackles (38 solo), five tackles for loss, one quarterback hit and one forced fumble. He also had seven special teams tackles (five solo) in a familiar role as a core member of that unit.
Walker played in 537 defensive snaps (47.4 percent) and 324 special teams snaps (70.43 percent) of the Cardinals total plays last season. He made $645,000 on his contract with the Cardinals last year per OverTheCap.com.
After Arizona agreed to terms with inside linebacker Authentic DeVondre Campbell Jersey (Atlanta Falcons), Walker wasn’t a priority. However, the franchise would have gained an important depth piece had they re-signed him. Now, the 49ers acquire a capable player with experience from a division rival.
We will see if that decision haunts the Cardinals next season. Other inside linebackers on the depth chart at the end of the season were Authentic Dennis Gardeck Jersey, Ezekiel Turner and Authentic Keishawn Bierria Jersey.