Lions and free agent safety Tracy Walker not yet close to a deal

SideLion Report

Signs have pointed to him being back, but the Lions and free agent safety Tracy Walker are not close to a deal just yet.

After struggling under the previous regime, as many Lions’ players did, safety Tracy Walker had a breakthrough season in 2021. He led the team with 108 total tackles (in 15 games) along with six passes defensed and three tackles for loss. He capped the campaign by winning NFC Defensive Player of the Week after the Week 18 win over the Green Bay Packers.

Walker is a free agent. All signs have pointed to mutual interest in him being back, even if Detroit makes a major upgrade at the other safety spot. But there is a small percentage chance the pursuit of upgrades at safety includes a replacement for Walker, and he ultimately finds a solid pay day elsewhere.

New deal not “imminent” for the Lions and Tracy Walker

The NFL free agency negotiating window opens next Monday, March 14. So there is time for deals to be reached, and the Lions have already re-signed not one but two of their own restricted free agents (Jason Cabinda and Josh Woods).

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (subscription required), a deal is not imminent between the Lions and Walker.

No deal is imminent with Walker and the Lions, though one certainly could be finalized next week. Walker had a nice season in 2021, and there is mutual interest in a return to Detroit — especially with safeties Jessie Bates and Marcus Williams among the franchise tag candidates.”

Jessie Bates and Marcus Williams are two of the top dogs in this year’s class of free agent safeties, with Walker somewhere a little below them. Bates is in line to be franchise tagged far moreso than Williams is, as the Saints would reportedly rather do a multi-year deal with him than tag him a second time.

Lions running back Jamaal Williams seemed to tease Walker’s re-signing with the Lions with a social media post this past week. A deal is not yet “imminent”. But at this point it’s still far more likely than not that Walker is back with the Lions in 2022, and he’s around for a few years beyond that on a new multi-year contract.

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