Carolina Panthers signing XFL star PJ Walker – where does he fit in?

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Kieran Harm
Football and NFL Writer. Specialising in the Premier League and Bundesliga

Carolina Panthers will be signing the standout star of the rebooted XFL, PJ Walker, this summer. The quarterback was the clear breakout player in the rebooted league, which has temporarily closed its doors due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Unfortunately, the XFL 2020 season has been cancelled and will return in 2021. Not the news we wanted to hear in their first season back, but it does mean that all the players from within the league are now free to sign with NFL teams.

PJ Walker in the XFL

Walker, as quarterback of the Houston Roughnecks, managed an impressive half a season or so in the XFL. Linking up with receiver Cam Phillips, he had a very high scoring five games which saw him find the end zone a whopping 15 times, an average of three times per game.

PJ Walker
Houston Roughnecks QB PJ Walker is on his way to the NFL as the Carolina Panthers take a chance on the youngster

The Walker led Roughnecks were the only unbeaten team of the eight in the XFL at the premature end of the 2020 season. They went 5-0 over the course of the season, only being run really close in one of the games, the week three match-up in Tampa Bay against the Vipers.

Walker threw just four interceptions over the course of the season and managed a passer rating of 104.4, second only to NFL veteran Josh Johnson. In terms of yardage, Walker was streets ahead with a total of 1,338 – second placed Johnson had just 1,076.

Carolina Panthers QB Situation

Panthers currently have five quarterbacks on the roster with the first choice likely to be Teddy Bridgewater, a new off-season arrival. The other standout name on the list is Cam Newton, who, as most us know has been told he can seek a trade – although there have been no takers as of yet.

READ MORE: The Fall of Cam Newton: Where will he go next?

After those two on the depth chart comes Walker with Will Grier in and around the area too. Kyle Allen was the starting QB in Carolina for the majority of the 2019 season but as I’m writing this article, Tom Pelissero has announced that the Redskins are trading for Allen.

Carolina Panthers QB Kyle Allen
Kyle Allen of the Carolina Panthers could be on his way to the Washington Redskins with a trade reportedly agreed

Allen threw for 3,322 yards, 17 touchdowns and 16 interception – earning him a QB rating of 80.0 on the year. His stats were passable, but he didn’t put up the kind of figures that are going to help the 5-11 Panthers mount a play-off push, so a little bit more quality in the QB position is necessary.

I don’t expect PJ Walker to see a football pitch in the regular season for a while – he likely won’t the starter this season. However, if he can get himself a few snaps in pre-season and play well, he has every chance of making the roster.

Now that Kyle Allen AND Cam Newton won’t be in Charlotte this year, Walker has a great chance to take the backup role at the Panthers – which I would love to see.

I’m a big fan of the XFL, much to my own surprise, and I’ll be rooting for PJ and any of the other XFL boys who make it to the NFL this season. Walker making the roster for an NFL team would be great for the longevity of the XFL – providing players with another visible route to the top of the game!

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