5. Anthony Walker, Jr., LB
After spending four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Anthony Walker, Jr. signed with the Cleveland Browns ahead of the 2021 season. He brought stability and leadership to their middle linebacker position — which was much-needed — and recorded 113 tackles and a sack in 13 games. He's since returned on back-to-back one-year deals but has had trouble staying on the field.
In 2022, Walker managed to play just three games before a torn quad ended his campaign. With him out, the entire linebacker corps struggled and the communication on defense was a mess. Prior to his injury, Walker was the only defender taking responsibility when things were falling apart, and without him, the finger-pointing got out of control. That's why he was retained once again but injuries still proved to be a problem.
Walker was able to suit up for 12 games but he was lost for the year during their win over Jacksonville in Week 14 and missed the remainder of the year as well as the playoffs. He was also far less impactful with 44 tackles during his 12 appearances.
Looking ahead, the Browns feel good about Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah as the leader of their linebacker corps. They might also be willing to bring Sione Takitaki back on a short-term deal as he too hits the open market. As for Walker, he's probably going to be headed elsewhere. While that makes football sense, he's a trusted leader who will be missed.