SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Carolina Panthers signed former Tampa Bay tackle Kenyatta Walker to a one-year contract on Monday, making him teammates with two players with whom he sparred in the past: Kris Jenkins and Julius Peppers.
The 6-foot-5, 302-pound Walker, who spent his first six seasons with the Buccaneers, started 73 of 75 games at right and left tackle. He hurt his knee early last season and missed the final 13 games. The Buccaneers released him in the offseason.
"We thought it was an opportunity to get an experienced veteran in here to compete and add depth," general manager Marty Hurney said.
And, perhaps, friction.
Walker had a running feud with Jenkins and Peppers starting in 2003, when Peppers took a swing at Walker after he claimed Walker was putting his hands inside his facemask. Jenkins once suggested Walker should be playing in the Canadian Football League.
The Panthers sent tapes to the league claiming they showed Walker's dirty play.
In the second game between the teams that season, also a Carolina win, Walker was called for three personal fouls and Jenkins ripped him after the game.
"When you have to hit somebody's facemask every play because you cannot block people fundamentally by yourself, you are supposed to be in the CFL," Jenkins said.
Jenkins didn't stop.
"There's no question about it, he's garbage," Jenkins said at the time. "He's horrible."
That past could make for some interesting practices when the 28-year-old Walker goes up against Jenkins and Peppers every day. But Hurney said he's not concerned.
"He's a competitive individual and that's part of competition," Hurney said. "When you're in the same division and you're competing in division games, it brings out the competitiveness of all the individuals."