Delanie Walker knows the drill. A 14-year veteran and three-time Pro Bowl tight end for the Titans, Walker knows that if an NFL team hasn't signed him by now, his best bet to sign with a team prior to the season will likely occur during training camp.
Walker, who opted out of the 2020 season, is banking on an opportunity to arise sometime over the next month. He is hoping to land with a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Walker reportedly had a workout with the 49ers -- his first NFL home -- last month.
"My goal is just to try and get in the best shape I can possibly get in because I know that opportunity is going to come where someone is going to need a tight end for training camp, and that's where my opportunity is going to come," Walker recently told ESPN's Turron Davenport, via Pro Football Talk. "But for right now, I couldn't tell you who I will be playing for or what teams are looking at me. They talk to me, but at the end of the day I feel like they think that the ankle is a problem, and my age, so teams are really not trying to give me a good deal I feel like. We'll see what happens in a time of need, when they really need a tight end."
Walker, who'll soon be 37, has had a solid career up to this point. A sixth-round pick in the 2006 draft, Walker managed to crack the 49ers' 53-man roster as a rookie. He spent the next seven years in San Francisco, helping the 49ers capture an NFC championship in 2012 (his final year with the franchise). Walker spent the next seven years of his career in Tennessee, where he was named to the Pro Bowl each season from 2015-17. During that span, Walker caught 233 passes for 2,695 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Walker said he feels good after ankle injuries limited him to just eight games during his last two seasons, prior to last year's opt-out. He is hoping to showcase his talents for a perspective team sometime soon, with the start of the 2021 season just around the corner.