The Los Angeles Rams are in a tough spot at backup quarterback following lackluster preseason outings by Stetson Bennett and Brett Rypien. With neither establishing themselves as an ideal QB2 behind Matthew Stafford, LA should direct their focus to a veteran signal caller who was unceremoniously kicked to the curb.
On Sunday night, the Chicago Bears announced they have released backup quarterback PJ Walker. Back in March, Walker signed a two-year contract to compete for the backup job behind Justin Fields. Instead, Chicago is likely turning to undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent out of Shepherd University.
The #Bears informed QB PJ Walker that he is being released, per @jjones9. Walker got $2M guaranteed from Chicago, but couldn't hold on to the backup spot during camp and preseason. pic.twitter.com/YdJUiydVQA— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 27, 2023
I realize that suggesting the Rams should sign a guy who couldn’t even beat out a Division II prospect wouldn’t put the team in a better position under center. It’s not ideal at all but Walker would present a slight upgrade over Bennett and Rypien. In his three seasons with the Panthers, Walker completed 57.5% of his passes for 1,461 yards and a 5-11 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Yes, that ratio is horrifying yet Walker has proven to be capable of handling the starting role if forced to step in. He still had a winning record in Carolina which given the state of that organization the last several years, that is quite the achievement. The statline might turn fans off to the idea of signing him. However Walker can make a wide range of throws.
In a 2021 preseason game against the Colts, Walker completed 10-of-21 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown. Walker’s best throw of the game didn’t belong to his touchdown pass but rather this play:
As fun as that touchdown to Tremble was, this throw from PJ Walker one play earlier was probably his best of the day. Beautiful hole shot vs what looks like Palms on the bottom of the screen to me. pic.twitter.com/iCgXDetJ4t— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) August 17, 2021
How could we also forget this beauty which occurred during an unforgettable game against the Falcons last season?
PJ WALKER TO DJ MOORE FOR THE HAIL MARY TOUCHDOWN— RotoRadar (@RotoRadar) October 30, 2022
Both those throws displayed a variety of passes that Walker can make in key situations. He has the arm and touch to make plays happen. PJ is more than just an XFL legend after all. Last season he started a game against Tom Brady and the Bucs and came away victorious so that has to account for something right?
Today, PJ Walker and Taylor Heinicke won games over Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 23, 2022
Just a few years ago, they were in the XFL.
LA has options via free agency to make a change under center and luckily Walker would be a cheap option as well. For everyone hesitant over acquiring him. how quickly we forget that Sean McVay once made Baker Mayfield look like a serviceable NFL starter.
If McVay could do that to one former Panthers QB, imagine what he could do with another.