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Impact Of Jets Sam Darnold Trade To Panthers On PJ Walker’s NFL Future

Although PJ Walker served as a backup and received playing time during the 2020 season, it looks as if his time as a backup may be coming to end. 

After the Teddy Bridgewater experiment did not work out, the Panthers traded a 6th rounder in this year’s draft, a 2022 2nd rounder, and a 2022 4th rounder for Sam Darnold.

Darnold, who will most likely be the starting quarterback, will now get a fresh start in Carolina. The Panthers are clearly committed to Darnold as they are picking up his 5th-year option in 2022 for 18.8 million, fully guaranteed. 

When it comes to PJ Walker, the former XFL superstar, a backup role with the Panthers seems unlikely. Teddy Bridgewater carries a dead cap of 20 million. Looking towards the future, that number drops to 5 million in 2022. In contrast, Walker had a dead cap hit of 150k.

Another obstacle standing in Walker’s way is Will Grier. Grier was the 3rd quarterback on the Panthers roster. Although Walker started when Bridgewater was hurt, Grier and Walker kept fighting for the backup position.

If the Panthers cut PJ Walker he could find a new home as a backup elsewhere but the most likely situation is that Walker ends up being the 3rd string behind Darnold and Bridgewater.

However, NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport reported that the Panthers are going to look to trade Bridgewater or adjust his contract. If Bridgewater is traded then it is possible that Walker remains as the backup for Darnold. If the Panthers are unable to move Bridgewater, it looks as if Walker will be the 3rd string in Carolina.

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Growing up northwest of Los Angeles, Matthew Shapiro has lived and breathed sports from a young age. As a youth writer/reporter for the LA Wildcats, Matthew has combined his love for writing and sports. Outside of football, Matthew is a huge Lakers fan and wrote about the Lakers prior to joining XFL News Hub. You can follow Matthew on Twitter @matthewxfl or email him at

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