Tre Walker has unretired, but the Washington Commanders are still adding a veteran linebacker.
The Commanders signed veteran Nate Gerry on a one-year contract, agreeing to terms with the former Philadelphia Eagles starter. The signing was one of a series of other roster moves that the team made Sunday as Washington also signed tight end Eli Wolf and safety Steven Parker, while cutting quarterback Cole Kelley, linebacker Bryce Notree, guard Tyrese Robinson and wide receiver Jequez Ezzard. Ezzard was waived with an injury designation.
On Friday, coach Ron Rivera said that the team would explore adding a linebacker after Walker, an undrafted free agent at the position, had abruptly retired. But hours later, the Idaho product reversed that decision — telling Rivera that he wanted to stay aboard, the coach said Saturday.
“Tre was dealing with some personal issues and stuff like that,” Rivera said. “He was just talking stuff through with some folks back home. He is just working through it. He and I talked about some of those other things. He just realized that this is an opportunity and he’s got to take care of other situations and circumstances, but this is also the opportunity that he really wants. We had a very nice conversation. It was very positive.
“He’s a terrific young man who just had a situation that pulled him under. He seemed to have settled down and had a good little practice.”
Despite Walker’s change of heart, the Commanders went ahead with bringing on Gerry. In Philadelphia, the former 2017 fifth-rounder started 22 of 47 games from 2017 to 2020. The 27-year-old did not appear in a game last season, but spent time on the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad.
Rivera had been consistently asked about the team’s depth at linebacker throughout the offseason, given that it might be the thinnest position on the roster. The coach said in late July the team would use the first week of training camp to evaluate the group before making the decision whether to sign somebody else.
Elsewhere, the Commanders brought Wolf and Parker in part because of injuries at tight end and safety. At Saturday’s FedEx Field practice, the Commanders had only four healthy tight ends with Logan Thomas (ACL), John Bates (calf) and Cole Turner (hamstring) sidelined. At safety, Troy Apke has missed most of camp with an unspecified injury.
Wolf has had stints with the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2020. Parker, 26, went undrafted in 2018 and has since spent time with the Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.
• Matthew Paras can be reached at email@example.com.
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