The Bears took a close look at a potential replacement for John Gilmore on Wednesday when they hosted Aaron Walker at Halas Hall. The most important part of the visit was likely a medical check on his shoulder, which was surgically repaired in November after he suffered a torn labrum playing for the St. Louis Rams.
Walker is bigger than Gilmore at 6-6, 270 pounds, and was a fifth-round pick by San Francisco in 2003 from Florida, where he played with quarterback Rex Grossman. When the Rams placed Walker on injured reserve, they signed offensive tackle Mark Levoir off the Bears’ practice squad. Walker is considered a solid in-line blocker who will not do a lot in the passing game. Gilmore was actually an effective receiver in the red zone, particularly at the goalline. The Bears wanted to keep him but were not willing to pay him more than the veteran minimum and he signed a $3 million, three-year contract with Tampa Bay.
The one thing Walker did not do much of with the Rams was play special teams. That’s something you need from a third tight end and Gilmore was a solid special teams contributor, particularly on returns. Walker did serve as the backup long snapper in St. Louis. Keep him on the radar for the time being. It’s a position that needs to be filled.