3 free agents Browns can’t afford to lose in 2023 offseason
No. 1: Anthony Walker Jr. – Linebacker
In 2021, the Browns shocked the football world by signing Anthony Walker, Jr. away from the Indianapolis Colts. This proved to be a move that worked out well for Cleveland as Walker put in a stellar 2021 campaign with 113 tackles in just 13 games.
Last season, he was off to the races, picking up where he left off in 2021, but that momentum would not last long as he was lost for the season in Week 3 against the Steelers due to a torn quadriceps tendon.
Not only did the Browns lose a high-caliber player in Walker, but they also lost a true leader on the defensive side of the football. That would show throughout the season as the defense was fractured, and was likely in that shape long before the injury to Walker.
So when Walker went down, the green dot went elsewhere — you remember all the discussions, right? — and it sort of seemed as if the Browns lost their way. The defense was supposed to be the unit to carry the load until Deshaun Watson’s 11-game suspension was up. However, we all know that was far from the case and changes were made with the firing of Joe Woods and the hiring of Jim Schwartz.
Walker should be good to go around April if his rehab is going accordingly, so that will factor into whether or not Berry decides to bring him back. The earlier a deal gets done, the better, as the team will be under the impression that Walker will return to form coming off an injury.
Pro Football Focus listed Walker as the Browns free agent the Browns can’t afford to lose. He was much more than a player for this team, and others have noticed, so hopefully, Berry does as well.