Eagles give Darwin Walker long-term deal

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia Eagles Tuesday signed defensive tackle Darwin Walker to a seven-year contract, continuing their recent trend of locking up key players for the long term.

Financial terms were not disclosed.


Walker has emerged as a pivotal player on one of the NFL's top defenses since moving into the starting lineup for Hollis Thomas, who went down with a broken foot during training camp.

In six games, Walker has collected 4 1/2 sacks to rank third in the NFL among tackles, behind Tampa Bay's Warren Sapp (seven) and Kris Jenkins

of Carolina (5). He also has 29 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

"As I've said many times this year, Darwin is one of the strongest and most explosive players on this team," said Eagles Coach Andy Reid. "He's stepped up and played very well this year in a starting role."

Earlier this season, the Eagles made quarterback Donovan McNabb the highest-paid player in NFL history with a 12-year contract worth $110 million. They also signed offensive linemen Hank Fraley and John Welbourn to long-term deals.


Walker, a 2000 third-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals, was released after just one game during his rookie season, and claimed off waivers by the Eagles. He saw significant playing time down the stretch last season, when the Eagles reached the NFC championship game for the first time since 1980.

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