PJ Walker, formerly the quarterback of the Houston Roughnecks (XFL), has signed a two-year-deal with the Carolina Panthers.
Walker, 25, was the league’s biggest star this past season and helped lead the Roughnecks to an undefeated campaign. Walker will be reuniting with his former College HC, Matt Rhule, who just signed a 7-year, $62m deal in January.
Walker began his NFL career signing to the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft. Walker was repeatedly signed and waived by the Colts from 2017-2019, but was given the chance to play in all of the preseason games in 2018 and 2019.
Walker showed some potential in 2018, throwing for 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on 30/49 (61.2%) passing in 4 preseason games, however, struggled in 2019. In this past year’s preseason games, walker through for 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on 32/64 passing (50%).
Shortly after the preseason ended, Walker was released.
Just short of two months following his release, Walker was drafted to the Houston Roughnecks. Walker shined in the XFL, throwing for 1,338 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions while completing 65% of his passes through five weeks.
Walker drew interest from multiple NFL teams including the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, ultimately signing with the Panthers.
This move may come as a surprise to some, as with plans to move on from Cam Newton the Panthers signed former Pro-Bowl Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a 3-year, $63 million contract ($40m guaranteed) in free agency just this past week.
Though, this should not be a surprise to anyone, as PJ Walker’s relations to Matt Rhule plays a large role in why he landed in Carolina.
After trading QB Kyle Allen to Washington for a 5th round selection, the Panthers will keep Will Grier as their third string, once Newton is traded.
Keep in mind that the new Redskins Head Coach Ron Rivera — formerly of the Panthers — has a strong relationship with Allen, tempting him to make the move.
Grier carries more value at the position, being just two years removed from his fourth-place finish in the Heisman race.
Overall, a nice addition for the Carolina Panthers, cementing solid depth at the position behind Teddy Bridgewater.
Photo: CBS Sports