For the second time in two weeks, the St. Louis Rams have added a veteran cornerback to compete for playing time in their nickel and dime coverage packages, reaching a one-year accord with unrestricted free agent Lenny Walls.
The five-year veteran, who played for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2006, is a big, physical cornerback (6-foot-4, 195 pounds) with potential, but a player whose career has been slowed by injuries.
Last week, the Rams signed former San Francisco first-round cornerback Mike Rumph, a player similar to Walls in terms of size and misfortune, and the St. Louis coaching staff is hopeful one of them will contribute in 2007. St. Louis lost cornerback Travis Fisher in free agency and needs to replace him.
Walls, 27, played his first four seasons in the league with the Denver Broncos, then signed with the Chiefs last spring.
He entered the league as an undrafted college free agent in 2002, and the former Boston College standout won a starting job in Denver in his second season, starting all 16 games in 2003. But he missed nine games in 2004 with a shoulder injury and nine more in 2005 with a strained groin, and eventually fell out of favor with Broncos coaches because he couldn't stay healthy and on the field.
With the Chiefs in 2006, he played primarily as a situational cornerback and on special teams, although he did make two starts, and finished the year with 29 tackles and five passes defensed. For his career, Walls has 127 tackles, one interception, 24 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one recovery.
Financial details of his one-year contract were not immediately available, although it is believed to be for the veteran minimum base salary.