Herschel Walker Calls His Mental Illness Cured. Experts Say It’s Not So Simple.
By Michael Hurwitz
Herschel Walker has gone from being the star wide receiver to being the star pitcher. He could go anywhere or do anything.
And as the star wide receiver, Walker could have been a contender for the NFL’s top wide receiver trophy.
Walker’s physical health could never be questioned. He was the best wide receiver in the league in the early 1990s. He was drafted into the NFL with the 12th pick in the first round of the 1994 draft. Walker went to the Atlanta Falcons in 1994, the team that hired coach Dan Reeves to replace legendary coach George Allen.
But the two parties ended up on the same side of an issue when Reeves forced Walker to enter a drug test program after the Falcons’ loss to the San Diego Chargers. The test revealed the extent of Walker’s drug problems.
Walker was suspended for one game and fined a combined $10,000 for his positive drug test and his conduct on the night of the game.
Walker began to decline and started to get addicted to opioids. Eventually, Walker was arrested for possession of heroin and sentenced to five years in prison.
When Walker was released from prison, his relationship with the Falcons became even worse. While on the Falcons roster in 2016, Walker was released, and the team released him a year later when Walker did not meet their preseason expectations. Walker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Richard Deitsch in 2019 the Falcons were the reason he was released by the team and the reason he would take his chances elsewhere.
“They gave me a chance,” Walker said.
Walker also had the opportunity to play out his last few weeks on the Falcons’ active roster while still on the Commissioner’s Clemency List. But Atlanta gave Walker the green light to play his final two years with the Falcons on the Commissioner’s Clemency List. The process involved Walker going through several physicals and testing his blood for substances so the team could grant him the clemency.
However, the Falcons never granted Walker the opportunity to play his final two years on the Commissioner’s Clem