While we wait for reports on today's lone practice at St. John Fisher (which ended at 1:00 PM), let's take one more look back at Darwin Walker. Specifically, some of the quotes to note from the parties involved in the trade as well as a strange rumor:
Bills GM Marv Levy on the Walker trade:
"We're very encouraged by the progress John (McCargo) has made. That helps alleviate a little bit of the fact that we weren't able to come to terms. If we could have worked something out with Darwin, we would have liked to have had him."
"We are content with the deal."
Bears DT Darwin Walker on the situation:
"When we first went to Philadelphia [to ask for a trade], the first team I wanted to talk to was Chicago. Philly had their ways of making things happen the way they wanted to, but fortunately it turned around and worked out for me."
Walker's agent, Albert Irby, on Walker's status with the Bears:
Sounds like the big guy is singing a completely different tune - it's painfully obvious that Walker played his hand this way to force his way out of Buffalo rather than get more money. That much is certain. Why else would he go to Chicago and settle for exactly what the Bills already offered him?
Those are the quotes. Here's the rumor, per Pro Football Talk:
Bears defensive tackle Darwin Walker, acquired earlier on Sunday in a trade with the Bills, reported to the Buffalo camp on Saturday, a day before being shipped to Chicago.
We wrote earlier that Walker's rights would revert from Buffalo to Philly if a long-term deal were not worked out by August 5. We were incorrect -- Walker's rights would have gone back to the Eagles if Walker had not reported by August 5.
Since Walker reported to the Bills before the trade, that issue is now dead.
It doesn't much matter that Walker reported, it's why - he did it to permanently cut ties with Philly, whether a deal was cut or not. By reporting to the Bills he voids the "throwback to Philly" option and forces the Bills' hand - trade me or cut me. This was another ploy by Walker and his agent, and it worked out well for him.
You know what? It's hard to fault Walker here - he wanted to play in Chicago and he played his angles perfectly to get there. I'm glad he's not in Buffalo - anyone who goes to those lengths to get what they want doesn't exactly fit into the character atmosphere we're building here in Buffalo. It's refreshing to know that Levy was able to improve our draft pick, leaving us with 10 picks in next year's draft. This team is still doing well - and in the long run, we're likely far better off with Walker in Chicago than as part of our rotation.