Former Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker has made it clear he’s not yet ready to call it a career. But he’s likely not helping his chances of signing with a new team after throwing shade on his previous team.
In a recent interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Walker was asked about his motivation for looking to continue his career at age 36, to which he replied wanting a Super Bowl ring to legitimize his career accolades.
“I honestly want to win a Super Bowl,” Walker said. “I feel like that helps you and your status once you retire from this game… Me being in Tennessee — and I hate to say this — but it hurts my value when it comes to awards and accolades, because I played in Tennessee.
“You can look at some of the greats like Eddie George and Steve McNair. They didn’t get their [Hall of Fame] coats yet because they didn’t win a Super Bowl and because they played in Tennessee. If I can win a Super Bowl, maybe that’ll help me. We’ll go from there.”
The argument could be made that Walker wouldn’t even be sniffing the Hall of Fame had he not gone to Tennessee. During his first seven years in the NFL, Walker never had more than 29 receptions, 344 yards or three touchdowns as a backup tight end.
He surpassed those numbers in each of his first five seasons with the Titans before injuries derailed his last two seasons. In Tennessee, he tripled his total receptions, yards and touchdowns compared to his production in San Francisco. In his career, Walker recorded 504 receptions, 5,888 yards and 36 touchdowns in 183 games.
There are currently nine tight ends in the Pro Football Hall of Fame — eight of whom played in five or more Pro Bowls. Walker has more receptions than five of those players and more yards than four of them with three Pro Bowls.
“When you play in a city like Nashville, an organization like Tennessee, it’s so small,” Walker said. “…When you play in Tennessee, you don’t get primetime games, you don’t get a lot of people watching your games. You don’t get mentioned a lot. Sometimes, you don’t get brought up in these conversations. But when you have a Super Bowl ring, they bring you up in those conversations.”