Thursday, a report on ESPN broke the news that negotiations for Walker were between the Packers, the Saints and the Broncos with Philadelphia, Miami, Kansas City and New England listed as possibilities as well. Then on local Boston Radio, the report gained momentum with Michael Smith telling the listeners that New England was working on trying to get into the mix.
Walker reportedly flew to New Orleans on Thursday, then on to Denver for a Friday visit/physical. The negotiations between Denver and Green Bay stalled, while Walker remained in Colorado. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, citing an NFL source, reported late Friday that no deal for Walker had been reached, and that discussions with the Saints broke down when the Packers demanded that New Orleans include WR Donte Stallworth
Late yesterday it became evident that the Broncos were trying to complete the trade before allow Walker to board a plane. The Green Bay Press Gazette reported that Walker was still in Denver yesterday afternoon, while other reports surfaced indicated that Walker was headed to Foxborough for a visit.
Late Friday night Tom Curran of the Providence Journal reported that the Patriots had Walker in for a visit and a physical The Boston Herald is reporting similar news this morning.
So where does that leave the Patriots in the loop?
According to Curran, the team may not have enough firepower to complete the deal. Sources in Green Bay have indicated that Thompson is unlikely to lower his demand for Walker unless other picks or players are included beyond a second round Draft pick that Denver is offering. Denver has receiver Ashlie Lelie on the table as part of the deal, but Green Bay reportedly isn't interested in Lelie, so Denver needs another partner.
New England, looking to swing the deal for Walker could conceivably offer another player, such as Bethel Johnson to try to entice Green Bay into accepting less than a first-round pick for Walker, but it is not likely they would go for that if Lelie wasn't enough to satisfy their demand.
Philadelphia is still interested, and could remain a major player if compensation can be worked out. The Draft could be the final catalyst for completing a deal. Teams tend to become more anxious to complete a deal, as their turn on the clock gets closer. While Denver remains the consensus favorite toe land Walker, anything is possible when the Draft is underway. Those who recall Mike Ditka's obsession with Ricky Williams in New Orleans know the kind of heights some teams will go to acquire the player they want.
Patriots Insider will keep you updated throughout the day on late breaking news on the Walker Situation HERE