It appears that the Buffalo Bills' depth at defensive tackle may be in jeopardy of losing some of its perceived toughness. Darwin Walker, he of the Takeo Spikes/Kelly Holcomb trade, has informed Bills management that he will not report to Buffalo until he is rewarded with a new contract. The 29-year old fell out of favor in Philadelphia after a subpar season and a threatened holdout there, as well.
According to Walker's agent (per this NFL.com story), the Bills were aware of this stipulation when they acquired the tackle in the March trade that brought him here.
Walker's agent, Albert Irby, said the Bills were aware of his client's contract status when they made the trade.
"Yes, he's under contract, and that contract was traded to Buffalo. But it was traded to Buffalo with the understanding that we wanted a new deal," Irby told The Associated Press. "They made the trade knowing that this had to happen."
Albert Irby, Walker's agent, went on to say that he has had discussions with the Bills and hopes that a new deal can be struck prior to the July start of training camp.
Look, I'm all for players going out and getting their money. But this bugs me for a couple of reasons - first of all, Walker isn't as elite as he seems to think he is. He was once one of the more dominant players on a pretty stellar Philly defense; that team found him expendable for two 30-somethings from the Bills' roster. He has had a couple of below-average seasons, yet he still feels he needs to get paid.
This isn't the best way to endear yourself to Bills fans, Mr. Walker. I hope you get your money, but I hope you don't drag this out - your playing services may not be worth the trouble.
I also find it interesting that Walker has not even bothered to make a trip to Buffalo yet. Makes me wonder if he's even had any sort of communication with the coaching staff. I have faith that Walker will get signed and suit up in Buffalo this season, but even if that happens, I've got to believe that we'll see more of John McCargo and Kyle Williams on the field than Walker this season. He won't be rewarded for these antics, that's for sure.
Thoughts on this potential sticky situation?