Tyrunn Walker, Lions hope to reach deal soon

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Tyrunn Walker

The Lions will try to see what defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker is capable of for the second straight year.

Walker and the Lions hope to reach an agreement on a one-year contract, and Walker was en route to Detroit on Thursday, a source told The Detroit News.

The source requested anonymity because a deal has not been finalized.

Walker joined the Lions on a one-year, $1.6 million deal in 2015 after the Saints declined to re-sign him as a restricted free agent. He opened the season as the starter, but suffered a broken fibula and dislocated the ankle in his left leg in Week 4, ending his season.

Considering he turns just 26 in a couple weeks, Walker would’ve had interest in free agency, which begins next Wednesday.

Walker signed with the Lion after receiving interest from about half of NFL teams last offseason, including the New England Patriots. First-year Lions general manager Bob Quinn was the director of pro scouting for the Patriots at the time, so he would’ve played a role in the team pursuing Walker, who visited New England before Detroit last March.

Walker and the Lions agreed to a one-year deal last year with Walker hoping a strong year could propel him to a lucrative long-term contract.

Lions tender all six of their exclusive-rights free agents

Now, after the injury, Walker will work to prove he can be a productive starter. He has posted videos on Instagram documenting his recovery.

Fellow starting defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is also a free agent. Although there’s mutual interest in a return to Detroit, it’s unclear when the two sides will agree to a deal, if at all.

Before his injury last year, Walker had nine tackles and played both of the defensive tackle spots in the defense.