Steelers sign XFL sack leader Cavon Walker to a one-year deal, per report

Cavon Walker has parlayed his XFL success into an NFL opportunity. Walker, a former member of the New York Guardians who led the XFL with 4.5 sacks, has signed a one-year deal with the Steelers, as reported by Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Along with his sack total, Walker, a defensive lineman, also tallied 19 tackles, five tackles for loss, and nine quarterback hits during his time with the Guardians. Walker’s success this winter led to his inclusion in the Midseason All-XFL Team. 

Walker, who checks in at 6-foot-2 and 284 pounds, played collegiately at Maryland, recording 89 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble during his years with the Terrapins. The Steelers are looking to add depth to a defensive line that lost former starting DT Javon Hargrave last week. The team’s third-round pick in the 2016 draft, Hargrave signed a three-year, $39 million deal with the Eagles shortly after the start of the league’s new year. Shortly after losing Hargrave, Pittsburgh sent a 2021 fifth-round pick to the Ravens in exchange for veteran DT Chris Wormley and a 2021 seventh-round pick. 

Pittsburgh has also placed the franchise tag on OLB Bud Dupree, who tallied a career-high 11.5 sacks and four forced fumbles last season. And while Dupree will remain in Pittsburgh for at least the 2020 season, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told the team’s website this week that the Steelers will try to keep Dupree in the fold for the longterm. 

“Bud Dupree has always been a priority,” Colbert said. “We were able to use the franchise tag, and Bud understood that going into the process. Our message has been consistently, ‘Hey Bud, if we use the franchise tag, our goal is still to sign you and get you locked up as a Steeler for the rest of your career. And that’s what we’ll continue to try to do.’ 

“We understand a little bit better as to what our restrictions are going to be from a cap standpoint after having made a couple of anticipated moves, which aren’t official yet at this point because of some of the circumstances obviously that we’re working under. But Bud has always been a priority and he will continue to be a priority as well move forward.”

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