When the XFL’s first run came to an end, it was the Carolina Panthers that gave a home to the biggest name to come out of the league’s first run. While the second incarnation of the XFL was cut short due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Panthers have repeated their own history by signing quarterback P.J. Walker from the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks.
Walker, 25, played for new Panthers head coach Matt Rhule at Temple.
XFL news: Former Houston Roughnecks QB PJ Walker is expected to sign with the #Panthers, source said. One of the stars of the XFL lands an NFL job.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 23, 2020
In the XFL, Walker led Houston to a 5-0 record, and at the time play was suspended, Walker was leading the league in passing yards with 1,338 yards and touchdown passes with 15 while the Roughnecks were off to a 5-0 record.
The Panthers, however, did recently sign quarterback Teddy Bridgewater away from the New Orleans Saints as the team looks poised to move on from longtime quarterback Cam Newton.
It was Rod Smart aka “He Hate Me” who was the running back that made his way from the XFL to Carolina the first time around. Smart had a respectable pro career with the Panthers, although his main contributions were on special teams.
Smart played in the NFL from 2001-2005, his first season was spent with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he rarely saw the field. From 2002-2005, however, he made a name for himself in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers. He had 29 carries for 67 yards but added 78 kick returns for 1,731 yards (a 22.2 yards per return mark) and a touchdown.
Walker led Temple to consecutive 10-win seasons under Rhule. He remains the Owls leader in several statistical categories, such as passing yards (10,668 yards) and touchdowns (74),