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  • Good article on Javon Walker

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/new...tuck-in-limbo/
    By Lee Rasizer, Rocky Mountain News
    Saturday, December 22, 2007

    There's no way around it: Tearing an anterior cruciate ligament during the season is awful for an NFL player.

    The games are over. The rehabilitation process is just beginning.

    But, all in all, Broncos receiver Javon Walker prefers the scenario he endured three years ago to the uncertainty he has endured during the past few months.

    A tweak in training camp. Trying to play through discomfort. Inactivity. Surgery. Living in the trainer's room. Then, in a return to action, not really feeling like himself in his on-field comeback.

    Walker recently estimated he's at 75 percent of full strength while returning after having a cyst removed from his right knee in October. The layoff has been evident in his statistics since his Nov. 25 reappearance in limited action: three catches for 27 yards.

    But, in Walker's view, working his way back in midstream goes beyond the limited number of opportunities he's getting now.

    "This year is frustrating, because you're doing what you can do and the knee is preventing you from being your best out there," said Walker, who started the season with two 100-yard receiving games before the knee problem flared up. "And, obviously, when you've got something that's keeping you from being your best, it plays into everybody else's eyes.

    "It plays into the coaches' eyes. It plays into the quarterback's eyes. Because now, even when you're out there, there's a trust factor there. 'Can I go to him or can I not go to him?' "

    No doubts for Walker

    The always self-assured Walker has no doubts he once again can be a go-to guy, especially considering that he's feeling relatively spry, though not full strength.

    It's going to take a strong offseason program to get him back to total health as he also tries to regain that trust factor.

    During Walker's long absence, Brandon Marshall established himself as a No. 1 receiver. Brandon Stokley demonstrated the leadership and disciplined route-running to earn a new contract. It has left Walker in something of a football purgatory.

    He still has star potential, but there's some doubt, after a second procedure on his right knee, whether he can recapture his standing among the NFL's best at his position - and how much it should cost the Broncos to take that chance.

    "I hope they look at it and say, 'You know, (he) had surgery during the middle of the year and we take that into consideration that he wasn't himself.' Because if you go back to last year, it was all 16 games, every practice, and there wasn't no change in my attitude," Walker said. "The only thing that happened this year was, I just got hurt and I've been trying to play on something that's just not right."

    Walker, coming off an excellent 69-catch, 1,084-yard debut with Denver in 2006, appeared to be ready to carry that performance over with an arduous training camp. While Marshall battled a quadriceps problem, Stokley eased back from Achilles' tendon surgery and others sat, Walker took part daily without time off. But during the Broncos and Cowboys' joint training camp in Dallas, he came down awkwardly on his right leg in the end zone.

    He played through the pain, but the problem worsened and finally required surgery.

    Knee has been 'fixed'

    Walker has continued his rehabilitation while in the midst of preparing for games the past several weeks.

    "It's fixed," he said of his knee's current condition. "But any time you have something that's bothering you and you do the activities we're doing here right now, it's not going to be at its full potential until it gets the rest it's going to need in the offseason."

    Banking on Walker's full recovery is an expensive proposition for the Broncos.

    Walker remains one of the team's highest-paid players, with a salary-cap hit next season of $7.05 million. The scenario is made trickier given the acceleration of money owed him should he opt not to renegotiate or if the team considers the total investment too risky. Walker has $8 million in prorations remaining in the final four years of the deal, plus a significant penalty for the team should it decline to pick up his upcoming $3.4 million option bonus. Walker also is due a $2 million roster bonus in March.

    He views the situation as clear-cut: His contract essentially kicked in this year, he was hurt, will be back full speed and is looking toward "my best years to come." So, from his standpoint, a revised deal is unnecessary. The cap hit, meanwhile, might be too steep for the team to do anything but keep him and hope for a turnaround.

    "A lot of other guys that signed their big deals this year, do most teams come to them?" Walker asked. "Obviously, Larry Johnson signed a big deal. He's missed a majority of the year. It's like he got his money this year, but then you come back right at the end of the season and ask him to take a pay cut because he got hurt? I mean, look at (Colts defensive end) Dwight Freeney. He hurt his (foot), but he signed his big deal this year. . . . I'm just one of those guys. It's football. I got injured and couldn't play as many games and couldn't perform at the level I'm normally capable of."

    Walker views his healthy re- emergence into the lineup potentially as taking Denver's receiving corps into the NFL's upper echelon. Marshall, Stokley and Walker each have had at least one 1,000-yard individual season. It's a matter of how a historically run-oriented offense will be oriented to get the receivers heavily involved.

    Of that trio, Walker potentially provides a quality - speed - that will help open up the air attack for everyone.

    It all depends on his knee and financial considerations.

    "I look at that being a big strength - going deep and making plays to help everything underneath," Walker said. "But even though I didn't go deep into the season and there was only a couple games I played, you go back and look at the first two games, it lets me know, shoot, I can catch underneath. The first two games, I really didn't go deep and there was a lot of stuff underneath, where I got yards after the catch. So knowing that I can go deep but also catch slants, crossing routes, that's just putting it all together."

    Making team signature bars, just drop me a PM. :salute:

  • #2
    Reading the article, I can't really disagree with his argument for not renegotiating. I don't like him talking about it publically, because it comes accross as stubborn... when really he's right, I think.

    I always want players to renegotiate for the team... I want them to WANT to stay with our organization because it's a great place to play... but asking a player to take a paycut because of an injury he may full well come back from isn't exactly realistic.
    Thanks, Reid!
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    • #3
      Originally posted by LordTrychon View Post
      Reading the article, I can't really disagree with his argument for not renegotiating. I don't like him talking about it publically, because it comes accross as stubborn... when really he's right, I think.

      I always want players to renegotiate for the team... I want them to WANT to stay with our organization because it's a great place to play... but asking a player to take a paycut because of an injury he may full well come back from isn't exactly realistic.
      Indeed.

      I don't have a problem with him not willing to restructure. Given what's occurred with him, I can definitely see where he's coming from.

      However, taking such a firm stance already isn't going to put him in a favorable position with Mike Shanahan, if history is any indication (Clinton Portis and Trevor Pryce, anyone?).

      As far as the cap hit...the writer here must not have done his research. Cutting Walker at the appropriate time in the offseason won't have as significant of a hit as he states. Most of the media is already biased when it comes to Walker because, from what I've read, they've made it clear they want him to stay so they cancontinue to write about him. And why not? He's an exciting player when he's healthy. But Adam Schefter has talked about this in great detail, and I trust his word over anyone else in the media when it comes to the Broncos, and he believes that Walker will be out of Denver unless he restructures. He's already had surgery twice on his knee, and he's already 7 years into his career. He hasn't looked anywhere close to the player he was a year ago, and Denver has too many needs in too many other areas to keep Walker at his current salary. On top of all that, you can bet Marshall is going to be demanding bigger money at some point very soon. You can't keep two receivers at top salary when you have so many holes on your team. I'd rather Denver just cut ties with Walker and use that money to get a stout DT, Saftey, or offensive tackle. I think they'll be fine without Walker, so long as they can keep Stokley and Marshall.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by LordTrychon View Post
        Reading the article, I can't really disagree with his argument for not renegotiating. I don't like him talking about it publically, because it comes accross as stubborn... when really he's right, I think.

        I always want players to renegotiate for the team... I want them to WANT to stay with our organization because it's a great place to play... but asking a player to take a paycut because of an injury he may full well come back from isn't exactly realistic.

        Well said. Unfortunately players aren't fans. I always tell myself if I could play for the Broncos, I wouldnt mind getting less money for the good of the team...but I dont so..


        I agree with the article about our receiving corps though. Walker the deep threat, Stokley is reliable and seems to always catch first downs, and of course we all know about BMarsh. Could be impressive with Cutler at the Helm if we get a line to keep him upright.
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        • #5
          From Denver's standpoint this is a guy that has essentially missed two of the last 3 years of football because of injuries. Do you want to pay him $9 million a year?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by speardog View Post
            From Denver's standpoint this is a guy that has essentially missed two of the last 3 years of football because of injuries. Do you want to pay him $9 million a year?
            And on top of that, out of the 7 years he's played, he's only had two really good seasons. He's either been injured or unproductive the rest of the time.

            I remember Green Bay fans politely warning us a couple of years ago that this would eventually happen with him. Again, I don't fault Walker - but you can't realistically think the Broncos are going to pay Walker that much money with a big fat question mark stamped on his knee, do you? Especially when we know there's so many other areas of need for this team?
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            • #7
              Originally posted by mojo0730 View Post
              And on top of that, out of the 7 years he's played, he's only had two really good seasons. He's either been injured or unproductive the rest of the time.

              I remember Green Bay fans politely warning us a couple of years ago that this would eventually happen with him. Again, I don't fault Walker - but you can't realistically think the Broncos are going to pay Walker that much money with a big fat question mark stamped on his knee, do you? Especially when we know there's so many other areas of need for this team?

              This is why I also trust Adam Schefter more than any other media figure. He's well informed and seems to be the most unbiased of anyone out there!

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              • #8
                I can't decide what I think about Walker. When healthy, he can take over a series during a game. But, every athlete I've seen that has multiple procedures on a knee, where so much pressure is applied, the risk probably not worth the money. If his money was more tied to performance rather than guaranteed, via re-structure, then I'd love for him to stay.

                His examples of L.Johnson and Freeney aren't exactly apples to apples. With due respect to Javon, Johnson and Freeney have a better history as far as continuous performance and importance to their team.

                I trust the coaching staff will look at his med reports, evaluate what it would take to keep Marshall for the long run, continue trying to negotiate with Walker, and maybe work something out for a year or two longer.

                May the football gods look down on Monday and allow Denver to pummel SD.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LordTrychon View Post
                  Reading the article, I can't really disagree with his argument for not renegotiating. I don't like him talking about it publically, because it comes accross as stubborn... when really he's right, I think.

                  I always want players to renegotiate for the team... I want them to WANT to stay with our organization because it's a great place to play... but asking a player to take a paycut because of an injury he may full well come back from isn't exactly realistic.
                  Has anyone from the Broncos actually come out and said they want Walker to renegotiate (rumored or not) his deal or is this all speculation on the part of the Denver sportswriters.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Canmore View Post
                    Has anyone from the Broncos actually come out and said they want Walker to renegotiate (rumored or not) his deal or is this all speculation on the part of the Denver sportswriters.
                    The Broncos don't discuss contract negotiations publicly.

                    However, given Shanahan's history (Steve Atwater, Shannon Sharpe, Clinton Portis, Trevor Pryce, Al Wilson), it's unlikely he'll pay a player that much money with that kind of question mark.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mojo0730 View Post
                      The Broncos don't discuss contract negotiations publicly.

                      However, given Shanahan's history (Steve Atwater, Shannon Sharpe, Clinton Portis, Trevor Pryce, Al Wilson), it's unlikely he'll pay a player that much money with that kind of question mark.
                      Javon Walker has a HUGE question mark to go with his salary, but is it 'fair' to compare him to Steve Atwater, Shannon Sharpe, Clinton Portis, Trevor Pryce, or Al Wilson. Healthy, only Portis is comparable imo, not to be contrary.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Canmore View Post
                        Javon Walker has a HUGE question mark to go with his salary, but is it 'fair' to compare him to Steve Atwater, Shannon Sharpe, Clinton Portis, Trevor Pryce, or Al Wilson. Healthy, only Portis is comparable imo, not to be contrary.
                        Not really.

                        Atwater was cut to make room for Dale Carter. Sharpe was cut because his contract was expiring, and the Broncos didn't want to pay him the money he was asking. Clinton Ports threatened to hold out at the Pro Bowl if the Broncos didn't restructure. Trevor Pryce was asked once after 04 to restructure, and although he did, he reportedly made such a fuss about it that the Broncos didn't even try again after '05 and just cut him. Al Wilson was cut to make room in the cap for other players, after the Broncos tried unsuccessfully to trade him.

                        So it seems to me Javon's situation is comparable.
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                        • #13
                          We need to keep Javon Walker, no matter what. His injury will heal by next year, and with the contract we gave him, he needs to be the true #1 WR. Marshall and Stokely will be severe threats to compliment. Anyway, I have no doubt Walker would produce when he plays. When We gave him this contract, we didnt count on Marshall being as good as he is, but Marshall cant be that expensive next year based on his "4th round draft pick" contract. So I say we give Walker next year to produce over a year, because in reality he took the #1 WR away from Rod last year, and looked good the first 2 games this year, I think he will be a true #1 WR for us.

                          I wish he wouldnt talk to the media like he is. But I do like his attitude, its on him to back it up with hugh numbers, and hopefully wins.

                          We've become a passing team
                          dont let him pull dat move on ya, dont let him pull that move.......................oh no dats da move! TOUCHDOWN!!!

                          I tried to warn ya.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Return of Lava View Post
                            We need to keep Javon Walker, no matter what. His injury will heal by next year, and with the contract we gave him, he needs to be the true #1 WR. Marshall and Stokely will be severe threats to compliment. Anyway, I have no doubt Walker would produce when he plays. When We gave him this contract, we didnt count on Marshall being as good as he is, but Marshall cant be that expensive next year based on his "4th round draft pick" contract. So I say we give Walker next year to produce over a year, because in reality he took the #1 WR away from Rod last year, and looked good the first 2 games this year, I think he will be a true #1 WR for us.

                            I wish he wouldnt talk to the media like he is. But I do like his attitude, its on him to back it up with hugh numbers, and hopefully wins.

                            We've become a passing team
                            I don't think we need to keep him 'no matter what', especially when this team has serious needs at positions far more critical than WR - positions that are going to cost a lot of money to fill.

                            I think some fans are vastly underestimating the seriousness of his knee issue. All this talk about him being healthy next season, and that's certainly not a guarantee. You can't pay a player $9 million just because of 'potential'. Even last season, while he was pretty good and had some great games, he only had 69 catches. Compare that to Marshall, who, in only his second season, is over 80 catches so far. To me, you pay Marshall the money, make him the #1 guy, and tell Walker to take a pay cut or he's gone. Walker has only 2 good seasons out of 7, and has had major surgery on his knee twice. And on top of that, he's getting older. I really like Javon - really I do. But be realistic. Do you really think we pay him $9 million (or whatever he's due) when he's already talking to the media like this and this team can use that money on a DT, Saftey, or OT?
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mojo0730 View Post
                              I don't think we need to keep him 'no matter what', especially when this team has serious needs at positions far more critical than WR - positions that are going to cost a lot of money to fill.

                              I think some fans are vastly underestimating the seriousness of his knee issue. All this talk about him being healthy next season, and that's certainly not a guarantee. You can't pay a player $9 million just because of 'potential'. Even last season, while he was pretty good and had some great games, he only had 69 catches. Compare that to Marshall, who, in only his second season, is over 80 catches so far. To me, you pay Marshall the money, make him the #1 guy, and tell Walker to take a pay cut or he's gone. Walker has only 2 good seasons out of 7, and has had major surgery on his knee twice. And on top of that, he's getting older. I really like Javon - really I do. But be realistic. Do you really think we pay him $9 million (or whatever he's due) when he's already talking to the media like this and this team can use that money on a DT, Saftey, or OT?
                              As inconsistent and young as our offense is right now, I think we need walker next year to have a shot at a SuperBowl. Marshall would be a good #1 option, but with him and Stokely our WR core is "decent" with Walker added, we're "great" imo.

                              We have to have a strength on this team. No part of our game is dominant, until now, our passing attack can be. Its not "potential" I'm counting on, its trust that the doctors and everybody feel like he is gonna be 100% next year. If so, he will produce like a true #1, the way he has so far when healthy here. Marshall's good, but his catch totals are inflated because of our playing from behind so much, having Cutler instead of Plummer and catching a lot of shorter passes. Walker had more ypc last year than Marshall this year. He actually took the job from Smith, where Marshall was given based on Walker's injury. Walker had 100 yards games both games he played before the injury. Even so, Marshall could be our #1 WR and do well, but we'd just have 1 WR on that level. If we had 2 I feel we're in a whole other category, dominant status. With our RB core looking like its gonna be the same as last year, we're a much bigger threat in the pass game than the run game.

                              Our defense on paper isnt that bad, because I assume thast what you are getting at when you say "other needs". Once we get another decent tackle, we're set. We cant have stars everywhere, with bailey and Bly taking up the money they take up, and Williams I imagine is not cheap either. No matter who we sign, we're not gonna be a dominant defense, our coach's strength is offense. On defense, we have to rely on turnovers from our stars, while the rest of the team plays average enough until one of our stars make a play.
                              Last edited by Return of Lava; 12-22-2007, 06:10 PM.
                              dont let him pull dat move on ya, dont let him pull that move.......................oh no dats da move! TOUCHDOWN!!!

                              I tried to warn ya.

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