Even though P.J. Walker has been playing the role of spot starter, the Carolina Panthers don’t feel that is going to be his role long term. The former XFL star QB appears to have a bright future ahead of him. The Panthers originally beat out six other teams to sign Walker, which was heavily influenced by his relationship with head coach Matt Rhule. After two starts with the Panthers, the team appears to have a promising developmental project on their hands.
Rhule elected to give Teddy Bridgewater another week off to rest his ailing knee. The Panthers are not going to make the postseason, so what was the harm in allowing Walker to play one more week? Walker certainly didn’t disappoint from a rookie quarterback perspective.
Who Is P.J. Walker?
After starting at Temple University, the XFL assigned Walker to the Houston Roughnecks. He quickly helped Houston become the top XFL betting team in the league. Walker won the starting job in Houston, and would become a No. 1 contender for the league’s MVP award. Before the pandemic shut the XFL down, Walker led Houston to a perfect 5-0 record. He completed 119 passes out of 184 attempts for 1,338 yards, 15 touchdowns to just four interceptions, and a passer rating of 104.4.
When the Panthers hired Rhule, it seemed like the perfect match. Rhule found great success at the University of Baylor running a similar offense to what Walker ran in Temple and in Houston. Walker is proof that minor league football can pay huge dividends for certain players.
Walker shined in Carolina’s 20-0 victory over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. Even with the win, the Panthers are in rebuilding mode. Christian McCaffery has missed significant time this season, but it doesn’t hurt to win a game, right? In his first start of the season, Walker threw for 258 yards, completed 24 of 34 passes, one touchdown, and two interceptions. However, both of his interceptions were thrown downfield.
Walked showed that he could be developed into a contributor for this league. Walker once had interest from the Cardinals, Saints, Broncos, Steelers, and Seahawks, but it was Rhule who recruited Walker to the Panthers. Walker showed poise in the pocket, which makes up for his lack in size. The Panthers have rights to Walker through the 2022 season. If he can develop into a borderline starter, the franchise would have a real trade chip in their hands.
Taken from Pixabay
Who Would Make An Offer?
Most of these teams are not going to be making today’s Super Bowl anytime soon because they are lacking in the quarterback department. There are two teams that make the most sense. Those include the New England Patriots, and the Chicago Bears.
The Patriots only own Cam Newton for this season. The team could try and make a trade for Walker rather than take their chances in the draft. At 5-6, the Patriots are going to have a mid-tier first-round pick. That’s not going to snag them Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. As for the Bears, also 5-6 on the season, the Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles experiment clearly did not work out, but the team doesn’t have much draft capital to make a move. Either team could use a quarterback right about now.
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