Delanie Walker has had an incredible career, but the Green Bay Packers shouldn’t sign him this offseason.
It’s no secret the Packers are searching for more help at tight end.
They were continuously linked to free-agent Austin Hooper, who signed with the Cleveland Browns. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reported the Packers were among the interested teams.
They have also expressed interest in Delanie Walker, according to ESPN’s John Keim. But signing Walker would be a risky move and one general manager Brian Gutekunst should avoid.
Hooper and Eric Ebron were among the best available tight ends in free agency, but after they signed elsewhere, the options appear to be limited. And for all of the great seasons Walker has had over the years, signing him now doesn’t make sense for Green Bay.
For starters, Walker will be 36 when the 2020 season gets underway. He’s also missed 24 games over the past two years.
In his prime, the three-time Pro Bowler could’ve been a huge addition to the Packers offense. But he’s struggled to stay on the field in recent years and he also has just 267 yards and two touchdowns over the past eight games he’s played.
The Packers invested a third-round pick to get Jace Sternberger last year. Since then, they’ve re-signed veteran Marcedes Lewis to a one-year and brought back Robert Tonyan. Adding a difference-maker in his prime would’ve been one option in free agency, but signing Walker could take valuable snaps away from Sternberger with no guarantee the Packers offense would be better off for it.
Had they been able to sign one of the best receiving tight ends in free agency, it’d be understandable to make the move. But that opportunity has passed and signing Walker would be a risk.
If the Packers plan to add to the tight end room this offseason, it should now be via trade or the draft. If not, they should go forward with Sternberger and Lewis as their top two options.