Walker, 25, started 12 games for Atlanta last season as a linebacker next to Rashaan Evans, making a career-high 107 tackles with four tackles for loss, his first career sack and two interceptions. It had been Walker’s first year as a full-time starter after two seasons as a rotational player who picked up spot starts.
In his Falcons career, Walker played in 49 games for Atlanta with 20 starts, three interceptions and a sack. A fourth-round pick for Atlanta out of Fresno State, he was entering his contract year this season.
Walker thanked the Falcons in an Instagram post and said, “my journey is far from over.”
This preseason, Walker had been working behind free agent signing Kaden Elliss and second-year pro Troy Andersen at inside linebacker. The Falcons had also experimented with Walker as an outside linebacker early in camp, but he had primarily been working with the second unit alongside Nate Landman.
Walker told ESPN in July he was still getting a sense of what position Atlanta might use him in in the fall, similar to his prior three seasons with the Falcons, and they were putting him at all three spots. Walker said he felt the scheme fit what the Falcons were trying to do defensively, too, and he felt the scheme fit him because it would allow him to run freer.
Walker played 24 snaps with four tackles against the Miami Dolphins in the Falcons’ preseason opener, a game in which the Falcons did not play the majority of their starters.
Walker had not been spotted at Atlanta’s practice Sunday, and the team also signed linebacker Frank Ginda, the 2023 USFL Defensive Player of the Year.