DC Defenders

Quarterback P.J. Walker to sign with Panthers, become first XFL player to join NFL team

DC Defenders

One of the benefits to the XFL was giving players a chance to audition for an opportunity in the NFL. The coronavirus pandemic cut those auditions short, though, and the XFL season ended after just five games. 

Quarterback P.J. Walker was one player who thrived during those five weeks, leading the Houston Roughnecks to a 5-0 record behind league-leading marks in passing yards (1,338) and touchdown passes (15).

New Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule, who coached Walker for four seasons at Temple from 2013 to 2016, apparently couldn't help but take notice of his former signal-caller. Walker confirmed to ESPN Monday that he will sign with Carolina. 

Walker becomes the first player from the rebooted XFL league to join an NFL squad. The former Temple standout joins a quarterback room with Teddy Bridgewater, who agreed to terms with the Panthers last week to replace Cam Newton as the team's starting quarterback. 

During his college career with Rhule, Walker rewrote record books with the Owls. Walker is Temple's all-time leader in yards (10,668), touchdowns (74) and completions (830), and he led the program to 28 wins over four seasons as a starter.

His success ultimately helped Rhule land a job at Baylor. Now, Rhule is repaying the favor with an NFL gig for Walker. 

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