Last month I wrote about the problems Chicago's defense would have on the defensive line. With DT Tank Williams kicked out of football, ex-Chicago starting DT Ian Scott in Philadelphia, and Pro Bowl DT Tommie Harris coming back from injury, the interior of that line looked thin. At that point, all Chicago had done to shore up the line was sign San Francisco cast-off DT Anthony Adams.
After a trade with Buffalo, Chicago signed DT Darwin Walker to a five year deal. Apparently Chicago was concerned about the depth on the line too because they paid Walker $8.5 million up front to get him. That seems like a lot of money for a player of Walker's abilities and considering he was under contract for the next two seasons anyway. At least Chicago was able to get a 5th round pick from Carolina so the Walker trade doesn't limit them in next year's draft.
This finally ends the Walker saga that had been going on for the last few months after Philadelphia traded Walker to Buffalo as part of the deal to acquire LB Takeo Spikes. Walker had every right to maneuver for a new contract this offseason, if NFL teams are going to release players potentially at any time, then players should feel obligated to ask for a new contract when the opportunity is presented. Unfortunately, to get his new contract he had to spend the last few months pissing off Buffalo's fans.
In the end, Chicago only adds a useful defensive tackle to improve their rotation. Their defensive line is very good, but Walker's addition doesn't make it the best in the NFL. Philadelphia's defensive line wasn't that good in 2006 with Walker on it. Philadelphia had a good pass rush and Walker has 27.5 sacks over the last three seasons, but Philly's defensive coordinator Jim Johnson is the NFL's blitz master so it wasn't Walker padding their sack totals all by himself. Still this is a good move for Chicago and offsets the loss of DT Tank Johnson.