DeMarcus Walker

Latest On Titans’ DL Competition

The Titans’ defensive line played a significant role in the unit’s 2021 success, and the top of the depth chart is relatively settled heading into this season. One starting spot is up for grabs, though, and the team has a number of depth options to consider during training camp. 

Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com notes that Jeffery Simmons is set to once again anchor the team’s d-line. He enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2021 with 8.5 sacks, earning him a Pro Bowl nod and Second-Team All-Pro honors. The Mississippi State product will be 25 this season, making him a prime candidate for the team to make a long-term commitment to sometime in the near future.

Another first-team role will belong to Denico Autry. The veteran’s first year in Tennessee was one of the most productive of his career. He matched a personal best with nine sacks and set a new mark with 18 QB hits, leading to optimism for the remaining two seasons of the deal he signed with the Titans last offseason. Who will join Simmons and Autry as a starter remains to be seen, though.

McCormick writes that former UDFAs Teair Tart and Naquan Jones are the likeliest candidates for that spot. Tart registered 10 starts in 2021, seeing a defensive snap share of nearly 50% along the way. Jones, meanwhile, offered more pass-rushing potential with 2.5 sacks as a rookie; he is also a player the Titans “are high on” to take a step forward in 2022. The rest of the position group is set to be rounded out by some combination of former Lions Da’Shawn Hand and Kevin Strong, and free agent signee DeMarcus Walker.

One interesting name in this positional competition is Larrell MurchisonA 2020 fifth-rounder, the NC State alum has yet to claim a full-time starting role, and has totalled just 13 tackles so far in the NFL. Considering the talent and depth ahead of him, McCormick points out that Murchison’s roster spot could be “in jeopardy.” How the depth chart shakes out will depend on his training camp performance, and those of several intriguing options the Titans have at the position.

Titans To Sign DL DeMarcus Walker

DeMarcus Walker‘s partial tour through the AFC South will lead to a Titans agreement. The sixth-year veteran defensive lineman, who met with the Colts and Titans recently, will latch on with the latter, according to his agent (Twitter link).

A former second-round pick, Walker spent last season in the AFC South as well. The Texans used the Florida State alum as a rotational defensive lineman. He will continue to work in a 3-4 scheme, transitioning from the one in Denver to Houston and now Tennessee.

While the Broncos tried the ex-Seminoles defensive lineman as an outside linebacker during his rookie year, he fared better at his natural interior defender position. Walker started slow but compiled eight sacks and 10 tackles for loss from 2019-20. The Broncos did not opt to re-sign him, as they transitioned from the John Elway regime to current GM George Paton, and Walker landed with the Texans on a one-year deal worth $1.5MM.

This Titans pact likely comes in at a similar price. Tennessee returns starters Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry and Teair Tart up front. Walker will look to position himself as one of Simmons and Autry’s D-end backups. Tennessee did not draft a defensive lineman this year, increasing the need for depth here.

DL DeMarcus Walker Visiting Colts, Titans

DeMarcus Walker is starting to generate some interest around the NFL. According to Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter), the veteran defensive lineman visited the Colts today and will meet with the Titans tomorrow.

Walker was a second-round pick by the Broncos back in 2017, but he mostly disappointed during his four years in Denver. To his credit, he improved a bit following rookie and sophomore seasons where he collected only 11 tackles and two sacks in 13 games. Between 2019 and 2020, Walker got into 23 games (five starts), collecting 40 tackles and 8.5 sacks.

That two-year stretch earned him a contract from the Texans last offseason. During his lone season in Houston, the 27-year-old collected a career-high 31 tackles to go along with two sacks, seven QB hits, and one forced fumble in 13 games (two starts). He had a stint on injured reserve in December while recovering from a hamstring injury.

Walker has spent some time at outside linebacker, but he’s done his best work as a 3-4 defensive end. That versatility probably played a role in him getting a pair of auditions this week.

 

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/25-12/26/21

Here are the NFL moves from Christmas and today:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/23/21

Here are Thursday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

  • Signed to active roster: LB Sam Kamara

Houston Texans 

New York Jets

  • Signed off 49ers’ practice squad: S Kai Nacua

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Designated for return: OL Jamarco Jones

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/22/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances (including Christian McCaffrey and Travis Etienne), players activated from the list remain on IR:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Placed on list: T Le’Raven Clark

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Contract Details: Smith, Falcons, Texans

Here are the details from some of the league’s most recently agreed-upon contracts:

  • Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Falcons): One year, $3MM. The decorated kick returner’s contract includes a $1.7MM base salary and $1.3MM signing bonus, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets.
  • DeMarcus Walker, DL (Texans): One year, $1.5MM. The ex-Broncos D-lineman will receive $500K guaranteed and can earn up to $200K in per-game roster bonuses, per veteran NFL reporter Aaron Wilson (on Twitter). Walker’s deal will count $1.45MM against the Texans’ cap.
  • Jaleel Johnson, DL (Texans): One year, $1.3MM. Johnson will see $300K of his $1MM base salary guaranteed, Wilson tweets. A $350K incentive also exists within this deal.
  • Roderick Johnson, T (Texans): One year, $1.15MM. Johnson will receive $350K guaranteed. He will be attached to a $920K base salary and can collect $130K in per-game roster bonuses, Wilson tweets.
  • Aldon Smith, DE (Seahawks): One year, $1.13MM. Smith agreed to a deal that includes a nonguaranteed $990K base salary, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets. He will collect a $137K signing bonus, with the contract counting at $988K on Seattle’s cap sheet.
  • Lane Taylor, G (Texans): One year, $1.13MM. Taylor will collect a $138K signing bonus and count $988K toward Houston’s cap, Wilson tweets.
  • Duron Harmon, S (Falcons): One year, $1.1MM. Harmon will receive $363K guaranteed, per Rothstein. He will count $988K against Atlanta’s cap.

Texans Sign DL DeMarcus Walker

Defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker took to Instagram to announce that he has signed with the Texans. The former second round pick will fight for an uptick in playing time after spending the last four years as a rotational player for the Broncos.

[RELATED: Texans Add Lane Taylor]

Walker has spent some time at outside linebacker, but he’s done his best work as a 3-4 defensive end. Last year, he notched 4.5 sacks, giving him 8.5 combined over the past two seasons. He saw time on 35% of the Broncos’ snaps last year, but the Broncos chose to replace him with former Viking Shamar Stephen this offseason. Meanwhile, Shelby Harris has been re-upped to reprise his role on the line.

Walker will be joined by ex-Broncos teammate Phillip Lindsay in Houston, plus a host of other defensive newcomers like Derek Rivers and Maliek Collins. For his career, Walker has appeared in 36 games (five starts), notching 51 tackles, 10.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.

Texans Host DL DeMarcus Walker On Visit

The Texans have signed a slew of midlevel veterans on low-cost deals. They met with another potential candidate for such an agreement Thursday, bringing in defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

A former second-round pick, Walker played a rotational role in four Denver seasons. After the Broncos asked the interior D-lineman to work as an outside linebacker as a rookie, Walker settled into a spot as an off-the-bench lineman in the team’s 3-4 defense. He is coming off a 4.5-sack season.

The Florida State product has recorded 8.5 sacks over the past two years, doing so after compiling just two in scant work in the two seasons before Vic Fangio‘s arrival. Although Walker missed three games last season, his 35% snap rate was by far a career high. The Broncos, however, opted to re-sign Shelby Harris and add ex-Vikings D-lineman Shamar Stephen this offseason.

Houston GM Nick Caserio has been busy — beyond navigating multiple Deshaun Watson issues. The Texans, who released J.J. Watt after 10 seasons, have signed Maliek Collins and Derek Rivers up front this offseason. Walker would profile as another low-cost signing, should he join the brigade of free agents — a list that includes ex-Broncos teammate Phillip Lindsay — to join the Texans.

Broncos Promote Nigel Bradham, Activate DeMarcus Walker From IR

On the Broncos’ practice squad for nearly three weeks, Nigel Bradham will return to an NFL active roster. The veteran linebacker will rise from Denver’s taxi squad to its game-day roster.

This will be Bradham’s fourth NFL team, though the longtime Eagles and Bills starter was only with the Saints in training camp. Bradham has been an NFL starting linebacker 96 times since his 2012 rookie season. While the Broncos have Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell in place as their three-down ‘backers, Bradham should see time Sunday against the Chiefs.

Denver still has Mark Barron on its IR list. The longtime starter has dealt with multiple injuries since arriving in Colorado. Bradham, a three-down player with the Eagles for the past four seasons, will join Joe Jones as a backup Broncos inside ‘backer.

In addition to activating A.J. Bouye and defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones off IR, the Broncos will have D-lineman DeMarcus Walker available Sunday. A fourth-year rotational cog, Walker saw a calf injury send him to IR after Week 2. He registered four sacks last season and did not play much from 2017-18, but Denver may need the former second-round pick more this season after letting Derek Wolfe walk in free agency and losing Jurrell Casey for the season. Although Casey and Von Miller are out, this is the healthiest the Broncos’ defense has been since Week 1.

The Broncos also released cornerback De’Vante Bausby, promoted running back Jeremy Cox and re-signed defensive tackle Sylvester Williams to their practice squad. Denver cut Williams from its active roster Friday.