The Chicago Bears made it incredibly clear that their quarterback of the future is former Ohio State standout Justin Fields after trading the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers. However, they brought in an intriguing name at the position to back-up Fields moving forward.
Chicago performed miserably in the two games that Fields missed last year. They went 0-2 in separate starts from journeyman quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Nathan Peterman.
The Bears clearly saw that they needed a reliable backup behind Fields moving forward. This prompted them to sign former XFL standout P.J. Walker on Wednesday night.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero first broke the news of Walker signing on with the Bears.
The #Bears are signing former #Panthers QB PJ Walker, per source.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 16, 2023
It was further revealed by Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune that Walker will be signing a two-year contract with the team.
It's a 2-year contract for QB P.J. Walker.https://t.co/yJpiK2AIIr
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 16, 2023
Walker made his NFL debut in 2020 after starring in the XFL. While he probably isn’t a starting-caliber player, he recently performed admirably this past season for the Carolina Panthers. In five starts last year, Walker threw for 731 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions while leading the Panthers to a 2-3 record.
It certainly seems to be an upgrade over either Siemian or Peterman, and many Bears fans are certainly pleased by the move.
P.J. Walker to the #Bears! Consider me impressed.
He’s one of the better backup QBs in the league, IMO. Think he’s a better fit in the system than Trevor Siemian, plus he already has chemistry with DJ Moore.
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) March 16, 2023
PJ Walker to DJ Moore was maybe the play of the year in 2022,,, just sayin,,, Bears are back https://t.co/C5kqRWh2Y3
— Brad Spielberger, Esq. (@PFF_Brad) March 16, 2023
I like it. Similar skillset, can start in a pinch. https://t.co/IFhJzO4K3o
— Brendan Sugrue (@BrendanSugrue) March 16, 2023
actually love this signing. great fit.
— Dave (@runbackdave) March 16, 2023
PJ going from the XFL to sought-after backup QB is another great journeyman story https://t.co/MnlsozpreP
— Matthew Coller (@MatthewColler) March 16, 2023
Walker also notably had chemistry with newly acquired Bears star receiver D.J. Moore. The two hooked up for possibly the play of the year last season for the Panthers with an unreal “hail mary” against the Atlanta Falcons.
PJ WALKER JUST DID THAT. HAIL MARY TO DJ MOORE. pic.twitter.com/dDYwoZhaGG
— NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2022
The Bears will certainly hope that P.J. Walker isn’t called upon just because that likely means Justin Fields got injured. However, Walker seems to be more than capable of performing admirably if that does happen.