Philadelphia Eagles: Whatever happened to Joe Walker?

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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After winning a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles all the way in 2017, whatever happened to 2016 seventh-round linebacker Joe Walker?

Did you know Joe Walker isn’t currently a member of the Philadelphia Eagles?

Did you really? Ok…

Well, for those who didn’t already know Walker’s fate, or maybe aren’t as familiar with fringe roster players, let’s take a look back at Joe’s career in the City of Brotherly Love and see what the future holds for his 2019 season.

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A no-star recruit coming out of high school, Walker spent a single season at L.A. Harbor College (where he racked up 102 tackles) before taking his talents to play for the post-Chip Kelly Oregon Ducks. From there, Walker put up three very respectable seasons in the green and yellow – logging 205 total tackles, five sacks, and an interception in 38 regular-season contests.

But unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to get Walker an invitation to the 2017 NFL Combine.

Considered borderline draftable by NFL.com, even after running a 4.56 40 at Oregon’s Pro Day, Walker beat the odds and was selected 251st overall by Howie Roseman in his first season back at the helm following Chip Kelly’s failed run as the front office czar – fittingly with a pick the team initially received from the Arizona Cardinals in the Matt Barkley trade (more on the Cards later).

However, disaster struck Walker in the lead up to his rookie NFL season, as he tore his ACL injury and was shelved on IR for the remainder of the 2016 season.

Fast forward one calendar year into the future and Walker was once again in the running for a reserve role in Jim Schwartz‘s linebacking corp and actually earned a roster spot in the trim down to 53. From there, Walker appeared in 12 games with three starts for the eventual Super Bowl champions – racking up eight tackles and a pass defensed in relief of Jordan Hicks.

But apparently, that wasn’t enough to keep to guarantee Walker’s return in 2018.

After competing for a roster spot alongside the likes of Nathan Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill, the Eagles ultimately waived Walker days before the 2018 NFL season went underway. While the team did attempt to stash him on the practice squad, the Cardinals poached Walker on September 19th, 2018, and slotted him onto their roster as a reserve linebacker.

And in a weird twist of fate, Walker could very well find himself backing up Hicks once more in 2019, as the Cardinals locked up the Eagles’ former middle linebacker to a four-year, $36 million deal.

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Now tasked with learning his third scheme in as many seasons with the addition of Kliff Kingsbury to the Cardinals, it’ll be interesting to see if Joe Walker is able to stick around in Arizona next season, or if he’ll once again have to find a new home elsewhere. Who knows, maybe the Eagles could reclaim Walker if he hits the open market and reunite with another member of their 2017 Super Bowl championship class?