The Indianapolis Colts appear to be walking on from starting SAM outside linebacker Erik Walden.

Walden became an unrestricted free agent this week, and judging by his Twitter posts, he is not returning.




 

 

The day before, Walden had sent out a tweet that has since been deleted saying, “it’s clear they rather have puppies than dogs.”

Walden led the Colts in sacks in 2016 with 11.0, but at 31 years old, he is on the downward slope of his career.

Walden received a highly-criticized contract when he came to the Colts in 2013. It was for four years and $16 million. He never quite lived up to the billing, but he was a better player than many gave him credit for. In his four years with the Colts, he totaled 166 tackles (17 for loss), 23.0 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovered and 3 pass breakups.

A primary goal for new general manager Chris Ballard this offseason is to get younger, particularly on defense. The team released 33-year-old starting inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson last month. And, like Walden, the Colts elected not to re-sign 35-year-old starting safety Mike Adams.

In Walden’s place, the Colts have signed outside linebackers Jabaal Sheard, John Simon and Barkevious Mingo.

 

 

Jake Arthur is the AFC South Division Manager, Indianapolis Colts Team Manager, Assistant Director of NFL Content and a Featured Analyst for Pro Football Spot. He is also a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @JakeArthurPFS on Twitter as well as on Facebook. Check out his other work HERE.