Erik Walden signing hasn't gone as planned

With the start of the 2014 free agency period less than two weeks away, ESPN.com's Field Yates took a look back at how some of the 2013 free agents turned out.

And to no surprise since the Colts were one of the big spenders last year, Yates writes about one of their players.

Unfortunately, though, it's not positive.

Yates has linebacker Erik Walden listed under “Three signings that haven't gone as planned (at least not yet).”

The Colts signed Walden to a four-year, $16-million contract with $8 million guaranteed last offseason. He ended last season with a disappointing 45 tackles, three sacks and a team-high 27 quarterback pressures. Walden's most aggressive play was when he head-butted Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker during a November game. Walden apologized for his actions immediately after the game. He ended up getting suspended for one game.

Walden needs to play better next season in order to prove he was worthy of the contract the Colts signed him to.

"Erik’s a good football player," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said last week at the scouting combine. " I think back to some of the guys we had in Baltimore, the edge-setters. When we went out and find outside linebackers, when we go looking for them in the draft or free agency, the first criteria is they have to be able to set the edge. Erik did a great job of that. Like anybody else, you have your moments. He can set the edge. He has pass-rush capabilities.

" He’d be the first one to tell you he could be better as far as a pass-rusher, and he’ll go to work at that in the offseason. As far as helping us up front and helping our front seven, I’m really pleased with Erik.”