Per a report by ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Carolina Panthers will sign Houston Roughnecks star QB P.J. Walker. This happened within two hours of the XFL to NFL signing period beginning.
The Carolina Panthers will be signing XFL star P.J. Walker per source— Dianna (@diannaESPN) March 23, 2020
This was quickly confirmed by multiple NFL sources.
XFL news: Former Houston Roughnecks QB PJ Walker is expected to sign with the #Panthers, source said. One of the stars of the XFL lands an NFL job.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 23, 2020
Walker finished his stellar XFL season undefeated as he and the Houston Roughnecks went 5 – 0. His stats through 5 games were 119-of-184 (65%), 1,338 yards, 15 passing TD, 4 INT.
5️⃣0️⃣ yard 💣@pjwalker_5 ➡️ @camphil5 for the first touchdown in franchise history!#ForTheH | #TBT pic.twitter.com/VX9JHgK4gj— Houston Roughnecks (@XFLRoughnecks) March 19, 2020
New Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule was Walker’s coach at Temple from 2013-16. So they have a familiarity with each other’s style. Rhule was formerly the head coach at Baylor University and Temple University before landing in the NFL.
Russini on went on to say
I was told the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals also had very strong interest in P.J. Walker.— Dianna (@diannaESPN) March 23, 2020
This does not mean Walker is a lock to be the starting QB. Cam Newton is on his way out however the Panthers signed former Saints back up QB Teddy Bridgewater to a new 3-year deal.
According to PFT;
Bridgewater’s three-year deal with the Panthers pays out $63 million. Of that amount, $33 million is fully guaranteed.Pro Football Talk
If we get an NFL pre-season, it will be interesting to see how the starting QB battle plays out between Bridgewater and Walker. No word yet on terms of Walker’s new contract.
In Houston, this leaves June Jones Roughnecks with Connor Cook as their starting QB going into the 2021 season. Cook was the first player taken by Houston in the phase 1 portion of the 2020 XFL draft.
How badly did the #Panthers want QB P.J. Walker after he lit up the XFL? Source says they gave Walker a two-year, $1.565 million contract that includes a $150,000 signing bonus and a $25,000 workout bonus next year. Nice deal for a street free agent.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 24, 2020
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Walker’s deal doesn’t sound that great considering Bridgewater is guaranteed 20 times the amount.
Aren’t the top guy is XFL making around $500,000? I’m sure he’s happy to triple what he could pull down in the XFL next year, but I am not impressed