Former Fresno State star linebacker Mykal Walker was cut by the Atlanta Falcons in a surprise move on Sunday.
Walker’s time off an NFL roster was short-lived as the Chicago Bears claimed him on waivers on Monday.
Driving the news: The move came just days after the Falcons defeated the Miami Dolphins 19-3 on Friday in the team’s first preseason game.
- Walker started Friday’s preseason game, a sign of things to come given that head coach Arthur Smith sat most of the starters, giving the backups an opportunity to play.
- The Falcons did not reveal an injury when they cut Walker, nor did they give any other reason for the move.
The backstory: Walker was selected by the Falcons in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft after three seasons at Fresno State, where he earned First Team All-Mountain West selections as a linebacker during his senior year and at defensive end during his junior year.
- He started 20 games with the Falcons over three seasons as he played in 49 games in total.
- Walker had one more year with the Falcons before his rookie contract was set to expire.
- Last year Walker stepped up as a full-time starter, making a career-high 107 tackles, including 4 tackles for loss and 1 sack. He also snagged 2 interceptions.
What they’re saying: After he was cut, Walker thanked the Falcons in an Instagram post for his time with the team.
- “I can’t thank the Atlanta Falcons enough been a hell of a 3 years,” Walker wrote. “Allowed me to achieve my dreams, I’ve met brothers for life, and brought my son into this world.” My journey is far from over excited for what comes next.”
- After Friday’s game, Smith was asked about Walker and indicated that the linebacker might not have been available for the rest of training camp.
- “The thing you have to do in training camp, going through 90 guys, when we’re working guys out, if a guy is going to be out the rest of camp you’ve got to make decisions on him, so there’s a lot of things going on,” Smith said.