What's With Walker?

Wide receiver Javon Walker's status in Denver is up in the air after some inflammatory comments about it not being the best situation for him with the Broncos. So where do things stand now, and what does his contract call for in the coming years if the Broncos do explore trade possibilities? We've got the details.

When Javon Walker said the day after the season that he didn't think he was a good fit for the Broncos anymore, it created a stir in the Denver area and with the fans of other teams who might need a receiver.

One such team is the Minnesota Vikings, who would seem to benefit by the addition of a proven veteran at wide receiver. Last year, the Vikings had the fewest amount of receptions and pass attempts of any NFL team and finished with the 28th-ranked passing offense (measured by yards per game). While some degree of those statistics can be attributed to uncertainty at the quarterback position, no Vikings receiver caught more than 54 passes.

It all has led to fan interest in the Vikings considering the trade options in the market. One of those possibilities would seem to be Walker.

But, more than a month after his comments about not fitting in with the Broncos, it's still unclear if those words will spur trade action, even after he apologized for the comments.

"What it boils down to at this point is I've got to go where the best fit is for me. ... And if it's not the best situation for me (with the Broncos), it's the best situation for Brandon Marshall," were among Walker's initial comments.

Later, he was quoted in the Rocky Mountain News saying, "I'm sorry. Let's just move on," saying his earlier words were made in frustration and calling them a "personal foul."

At his season-ending press conference, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said he would wait to talk with Walker.

"I've read what you've read and that's why I let time go – I let a couple months go before I talk to these guys," Shanahan said. "Sometimes there is a little emotion with some of these guys; other times – there are different issues with different players. Everybody handles it a little differently."

But last week, former Bronco Shannon Sharpe agreed that it would be best for Walker to move on.

"I think Mike will relieve himself of that situation," Sharper told Bill Williamson of the Denver Post. "It's not going to get any better there for Walker. … Javon isn't the No. 1 anymore there, and it's not going to change. He kind of showed where he is coming from by saying what he said."

Ironically, Walker just negotiated a five-year extension with the Broncos last March. He only cost them $2.7 million in a cap hit in 2007, but that is set to escalate. His cap hit is scheduled to be $7 million in 2008, with a base of $2.1 million and a $2 million roster bonus. In 2009, the cap hit would be $8.6 million, then $9.8 million in 2010 and $9.45 million in 2011.

However, his base salaries in the final three years of the contract are $5.6 million, $5.9 million and $6.7 million, with $1 million roster bonuses due in the final two years.

Walker started his career as a first-round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers and had 23 catches in 15 games in 2002. The following year, he wasn't a full-time starter yet, but he still led the Packers with 716 yards on 41 catches.

He became a Pro Bowl receiver in his third season, catching 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 starts. He also led the NFL in third-down receptions in 2004.

That breakout season was followed by a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the 2005 season opener, and he was dealt to the Broncos during the 2006 draft. He led Denver with 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns on 69 catches, starting all 16 games for the first time in his career.

However, that would also be the only time he started 16 games to this point. Last year, he was limited by a recurring knee injury, playing in only eight games while starting five, which helped lead to Brandon Marshall's breakout season.

Walker has 11 100-yard games to his credit during his six-year career.


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