Tyrunn Walker

Saints To Sign DT Tyrunn Walker

The Saints have agreed to sign defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Walker will provide support in the wake of Sheldon Rankins’ season-ending torn Achilles. Rankins has been formally placed on IR.

Walker first broke into the league with the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He made the roster in his first year, but was a healthy scratch throughout his first pro season. He finally saw the field in 2013 and managed 2.5 sacks in ’14 as a nose tackle for New Orleans. Since then, he’s had stints with the Lions and Rams, but did not see live action in the 2018 season.

Walker, in all likelihood, will not see time in the NFC Championship Game unless he is absolutely needed. Instead, the Saints figure to use interior defenders such as Tyeler Davison, David Onyemata, and Taylor Stallworth to make up for Rankins’ absence.

Rankins, 24, played the most snaps of any Saints defensive tackle in 2018, managing 40 tackles (12 for loss), eight sacks, and 15 quarterback hits in the process. Pro Football Focus, meanwhile, graded Rankins as the No. 23 interior defender among 119 qualifiers.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/13/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit. All links go to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account, unless otherwise noted.

Arizona Cardinals

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Tennessee Titans

NFL Workout Updates: 10/26/18

Here are today’s reported tryouts:

Denver Broncos

  • P Brock Miller

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Saints have had some injuries on the defensive line recently, so it makes sense why they’d bring in this group. With this large of an amount of players brought in, they will likely be signing someone soon. The Buccaneers are clearly evaluating their kicking options after Chandler Catanzaro has struggled to start the year. He made a game-winning 59-yard field goal in overtime last week, but missed an extra point and a 40-yarder at the end of regulation before that. Both Ficken and Santos have kicked for the Rams this season.

Bills Move Roster To 53 Players

The Bills have moved their roster to 53 players but cutting the following:

Buffalo will take on dead money by releasing Coleman, whom it acquired from Cleveland earlier this year. Ryan lost out in the punting battle to Colton Schmidt.

Bills Sign Tyrunn Walker, Cut John Hughes

The Bills have made a switch in their defensive line rotation, signing Tyrunn Walker and cutting John Hughes, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). Hughes suffered a groin injury in the team’s first preseason game on Thursday, which triggered his release.

Interestingly, Buffalo was also considering Walker when it signed Hughes in June, but it preferred Hughes at the time because he is more of a “space eater” than Walker. Both men have primarily served as backups in their respective careers, though Walker was more productive than Hughes in 2017. The 28-year-old Walker finished with 22 tackles, one sack, and four passes defended in 16 games (four starts) for the Rams last year, while Hughes played just eight games (no starts) for the Saints and compiled 10 tackles. He tore his bicep late in the season and landed on injured reserve as a result.

Walker, who has also suited up for the Saints and Lions in his career, auditioned for the Jets earlier this offseason, and New Orleans also considered bringing him back into the fold. He experienced a major legal scare last June when he was accused of rape, but he was later cleared by a grand jury.

He will battle for snaps behind starters Star Lotulelei and Kyle Williams.

Bills Sign DT John Hughes

John Hughes has found a home. The Bills announced (via Twitter) that they have signed the veteran defensive tackle to a one-year deal.

The 30-year-old has managed to put together a six-year career despite serving as mostly a backup. The 2012 third-round pick spent the first four-plus seasons of his career with the Browns, including a rookie season where he collected three sacks. However, he was released by the organization in 2016, less than two years after inking a four-year, $14.4MM extension.

He split the rest of that campaign with the Patriots and Buccaneers before signing with the Saints last year. In eight games last season, the six-foot-two, 320-pound lineman compiled 10 tackles. He tore his bicep late in the season, landing him on the injured reserve.

Kyle Williams and Star Lotulelei are currently slotted in as the Bills starting defensive tackles, and Buffalo has some solid depth behind the two veterans. Hughes will likely have to compete with rookie third-rounder Harrison Phillips, former third-rounder Adolphus Washington, free agent addition Tenny Palepoi, and second-year lineman Rickey Hatley for backup reps.

Either way, it sounds like the Bills were in the market for more depth at the position. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the organization also considered free agent defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker. The 28-year-old was more production last season, finishing with 22 tackles, one sack, and four passes defended in 16 games (four starts) for the Rams. However, the organization ultimately decided on Hughes, who Rapoport describes as “more of a space eater.”

Saints Work Out DLs Jay Bromley, Tyrunn Walker

Veteran defensive linemen Jay Bromley and Tyrunn Walker are among the veterans participating in the Saints’ rookie miniamp, according to Nick Underhill of the Advocate (Twitter link).

Bromley was never expected to re-sign with the Giants, as he wasn’t viewed as a fit for new defensive coordinator James Bettchers’ 3-4 defense. But it’s extremely surprising that Bromley has yet to land a new contract as the calendar has turned to May. The 25-year-old appeared in 47 games with New York over the past three seasons, appearing mostly in a rotational capacity. Heading into free agency, PFR ranked Bromley as the 15th-best defensive tackle on the open market — every other interior lineman on our list has since landed a new deal.

Walker, 28, is another potential interior addition for the Saints. He’s actually garnered a bit more interest than Bromley this offseason, as he auditioned for the Jets in late April. Walker has already enjoyed one stint with the Saints, appearing in 23 games for the club from 2012-14. In the years since, Walker has spent time with the Lions and Rams, and last year played about a quarter of Los Angeles’ defensive snaps.

In addition to Bromley and Walker, the Saints are also looking at former Ravens defensive back Matt Elam, former Falcons safety Sharrod Neasman, and veteran offensive lineman Michael Ola.

Jets Work Out Lamarr Houston

The Jets are exploring options in the front seven. Gang Green will work out edge rusher Lamarr Houston and defensive tackle Chris Jones, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero. Former Rams defensive lineman Tyrunn Walker and former Browns defensive lineman Lavar Edwards will also be a part of the workout, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Colleague Mike Garafolo (on Twitter) adds that the Jets brought in former Chiefs defensive tackle Jaye Howard for a visit recently. 

The Jets have already added a number of new linebackers this offseason, including ILBs Avery Williamson, Kevin Minter, and Micah Awe and outside linebackers Kevin Pierre-Louis, Brandon Copeland, and Neville Hewitt. However, they have done little to bolster the defensive line behind projected starters Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon, and Mike Pennel.

After sacrificing two second round picks in this year’s draft (plus a second rounder in next year’s draft) to move up from No. 6 to No. 3 overall, the Jets may want to fill out the D-Line depth chart through veterans in order to focus on other needs this weekend. The Jets still have six picks in the draft, but their second choice won’t come until No. 72 overall.

Houston, 31 in June, recently auditioned for the Raiders but left Oakland without signing a deal. Howard, 29, put himself on the map with 5.5 sacks for the Chiefs in 2015 but was slowed by a hip injury in 2016 and did not play last season.

Rams Re-Sign Tyrunn Walker

The Rams announced that they have re-signed defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker, whom they released July 22 at the time a rape accusation in Louisiana surfaced, and waived fellow DT A.J. Jefferson in a corresponding move. A grand jury cleared Walker of wrongdoing on Aug. 3, freeing him up for a return to the NFL.

Tyrunn Walker (Vertical)

The 27-year-old Walker, who first signed with the Rams back in March, spent the first three seasons of his career in New Orleans and the previous two in Detroit. Walker has totaled 42 appearances, and the majority of his 13 career starts (eight) came last season. Walker tallied 26 tackles and played 34.1 percent of the Lions’ defensive snaps in 2016, and ranked a below-average 77th among Pro Football Focus’ 127 qualified interior D-linemen.

In his return to Los Angeles, Walker figures to once again provide depth in the middle of a D-line whose best player, all-world tackle Aaron Donald, could miss regular-season time on account of a holdout. Without Donald in the fold, the Rams are currently set to start sixth-round rookie Tanzel Smart alongside established tackle Michael Brockers. Other than Walker, the Rams’ primary depth options include Mike Purcell and Louis Trinca-Pasat.

Tyrunn Walker Cleared By Grand Jury

Former Rams defensive lineman Tyrunn Walker has been cleared of all wrongdoing by a Los Angeles grand jury, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Walker and another man were accused of sexual assault stemming from an incident back in February. Tyrunn Walker (Vertical)

The Rams released Walker in June when the allegations came to light. Now that the L.A. grand jury has returned “a no true bill,” he may be able to find another NFL job.

The Rams were Walker’s third NFL stop and he’s now be in search of team No. 4. Walker spent the first three seasons of his career with the Saints and the last two with the Lions. All in all, he has totaled 42 appearances with the majority of his 13 career starts (eight) coming in 2016.

The lineman tallied 26 tackles and played in 34.1% of the Lions’ defensive snaps in 2016. He ranked just 77th among Pro Football Focus’ 127 qualified interior defensive linemen.

Although he is in the clear from a legal perspective, the 27-year-old could still conceivably face punishment from the NFL if the league office feels that he violated the personal conduct policy.