Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Erik Walden (93) tackles Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) during the second quarter in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
2015 Contract: $4,250,000
Stats: 37 tackles, 6 sacks, 1 forced fumble
PFF Grade: -2.7
Walden wasn’t the liability on the field that he has been in years past. He wasn’t consistent from game to game, but really showed up in the playoffs. He had nine tackles (six of which were stops) in the playoffs to go along with a sack and seven QB hurries. PFF gave him a +8.4 for the three playoff performances.
The big knock on Walden has always been his bloated contract. He’s signed through 2016 and the Colts will pay him over $8 million. He’s a mediocre linebacker but Walden is paid like a good one.
This was a much better season for Walden and he seemed to not only settle into the roll but step up with Mathis out.
There is always the possibility that the front office decides to cut Walden, but who would they turn to in order to replace him? They don’t have any OLB’s with his versatility.
Walden will start again in 2015 because he’s paid like a starter and plays just well enough to keep that position. There simply isn’t a player who has stepped up enough to take over his job.