Lions safety Tracy Walker says he turned down more money to stay in Detroit
After a resurgent 2021 season, Lions safety Tracy Walker showed his commitment to staying in Detroit when he hit free agency.
The new regime was a breathe of fresh air for Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker in 2021. He led the team in tackles (108), and capped the campaign by winning NFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 18.
Even as he surely entertained other suitors, as a free agent should, it always seemed most likely Walker would re-sign with the Lions in March. He ultimately did re-sign, a three-year, $25 million deal with $17 million guaranteed.
Entering his fifth season, as one of the longest-tenured Lions, Walker is being tasked with a leadership role this season. He’s embracing it, with an eye on making more plays himself.
Tracy Walker says he turned down better deals to stay with the Lions
The Lions had a lighter practice on Wednesday. Walker spoke to the media afterward, and his son (Tracy Walker IV) became an instant star.
Walker did offer something substantive and football-oriented though, saying he turned down more money to stay with the Lions.
"I definitely had more teams, I had more money, but at the end of the day, I know the situation might not have been the best for me,” Walker said. “This was my best situation with everything that I was dealing with.”"
Walker didn’t say which other teams pursued him, and getting down to it only he and his agent know if what he said is true. But the fact he didn’t re-sign as early as he could have suggests he had other suitors, and again as a free agent he should have seen what those teams had to offer.
Suffice to say it’s rare for a player to choose the Lions over other viable options, or choose to stay in Walker’s case. That is a clear credit to the culture Dan Campbell and his coaching staff is trying to build, and Walker has seemingly bought in from the get-go.