KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs on Friday reinforced depth on the defensive line by bringing in a new body, while a familiar face returned to the linebacker corps.
Sep 23, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Vance Walker (98) during the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
With defensive end Tyson Jackson now with the Atlanta Falcons, the Chiefs found his replacement by signing defensive lineman Vance Walker.
Terms of Walker’s deal weren’t announced, but it’s a three-year, $13 million contract with $3.75 million guaranteed, a source familiar with the details told ChiefsSpin.com.
In addition to Walker’s signing, the Chiefs officially announced the return of outside linebacker Frank Zombo, whose re-signing was first reported Monday by Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports 1. Terms of Zombo’s deal are unknown.
“We’re pleased that we were able to come to an agreement with both Frank and Vance,” Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said. “Frank was a key member of our defense and special teams units last season, and we are looking forward to having him back. Vance is a big, physical player that we believe can come in and contribute for us up front.”
Entering his sixth season, Walker originally joined the NFL out of Georgia Tech as a seventh-round pick (210th overall) of the Atlanta Falcons in the 2009 NFL Draft.
He spent four seasons with the Falcons (2009-12) and the 2013 season with the Oakland Raiders before Friday’s signing in Kansas City.
“Vance is very excited about the opportunity to play for the Chiefs and coach Andy Reid,” Walker’s agent, Tommy Sims, said in an email. “He is looking forward to playing with a great group of talented players on the Chiefs defense.”
Walker, who turns 27 on April 26, has appeared in 73 career games with 26 starts. He’s recorded 76 tackles (58 solo), seven sacks, an interception and three forced fumbles.
Effective against the run and pass, the 6-foot-2, 305-pound defensive lineman’s flexibility should suit the Chiefs well, according to Walker’s agent.
“Vance is a disruptive force at the 3- or 5-technique,” Sims said. “His versatility is an asset to a team who is looking for a three-down player.”
Oct 13, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Frank Zombo (51) warms up at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Meanwhile, Zombo played for the Chiefs last season after signing a one-year deal. He appeared in all 16 regular season games with five starts.
The fourth-year pro out of Central Michigan, who turned 27 on March 5, has an obvious connection to Dorsey from their time in Green Bay.
Zombo proved his value to the Chiefs when outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston missed time with injuries.
On the 2013 regular season, Zombo recorded 27 tackles (23 solo), two sacks, five quarterback pressures, an interception, a forced fumble and a special teams fumble recovery.
He recorded a solo tackle in the Chiefs’ playoff loss against the Indianapolis Colts.
Zombo entered the league in 2010 as an undrafted free agent with the Green Bay Packers where he appeared in 13 games with eight starts.
He started in Green Bay’s Super Bowl XLV win against the Pittsburgh Steelers where he notched five solo tackles and a sack.