The Chicago Bears have a new backup quarterback. According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Bears are signing former Carolina Panthers quarterback PJ Walker to a two-year contract. Walker likely becomes Justin Fields’ new replacement and also reunites with wide receiver DJ Moore, who the team acquired from the Panthers last week as part of the trade involving the No. 1 NFL Draft pick.
Walker joined the Indianapolis Colts in 2017 as an undrafted free agent, but burst onto the scene in 2020 in the XFL for the Houston Roughnecks. He was the league leader in passing yards and touchdowns before the COVID-19 pandemic halted play. That success propelled him to a deal with the Panthers, where he started a handful of matches between 2020 and 2022.
Last season, Walker started five games, throwing for 731 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. His best moment came on a 62-yard Hail Mary touchdown off Moore against the Atlanta Falcons late in the fourth quarter in an overtime loss. Now he’s coming to Chicago as a replacement for Fields and a chance to work with Moore again. The Bears still have Trevor Siemian on the roster as a backup, but he may be on the way out with Walker’s arrival.
While it’s not the bombshell Bears fans were hoping to see, people seem happy with the decision to land a backup like Walker. Here’s how Twitter reacted to the news.
PJ Walker and DJ Moore are reunited.
Honestly, a mobile QB like Walker makes so much more sense than backing up Justin Fields. I like the signature. https://t.co/EZglz4ItKH
— Max Markham (@MaxMarkhamNFL) March 16, 2023
Smart move, Siemian and Fields don’t play in the same style at all so you need to have a full new offense when he arrives where PJ and Fields have similar skills and can perform similar offenses https://t.co/ bcsmj7RJEK
— Sir Psycho T (@SirPsychoT) March 16, 2023
Personally held out hope for an offer from Tyler Huntley from the #Bear, but PJ Walker isn’t a bad thing. Apart from his small stature, he has a strong arm and enough starting experience that he won’t leave you hanging if Fields goes down. Should be able to operate offense https://t.co/zL5MUyi4Kt
— Jordan Silveira (@JordanTSilveira) March 16, 2023
I don’t think Walker was signed to be No. 2 but rather the No. 3 QB. Simian is still on the list. What’s good is he’s another mobile QB
— Greg Gabriel (@ggabefootball) March 16, 2023