XFL standout P.J. Walker back in NFL with Panthers

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Had the XFL season continued on, Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker was the frontrunner for the league's most valuable player.

Now, he's first up for XFL players heading to the NFL, as Walker is expected to sign with the Carolina Panthers, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Monday morning.

Pelissero added Tuesday that Walker is signing a two-year, $1.57 million contract with Carolina.

Walker will reunite with new Panthers coach Matt Rhule, who coached him at Temple, and will also return to the NFL as he was previously a practice squad player with the Colts.

In five XFL games with the undefeated Roughnecks (5-0), Walker led the league with 15 touchdowns and 1,338 yards and had emerged as one of the league's early standouts and marquee players.

As reported by Pelissero on Friday, after working through procedures XFL players were informed by the NFL that they could begin signing with NFL teams at 9 p.m. ET Monday.

Now he'll move on to Carolina to presumably battle to back up Teddy Bridgewater, as news upon Cam Newton's fate still remains in limbo. Not long after news of Walkers impending signing, Pelissero also reported that the Panthers are trading Kyle Allen, who started 12 games last season in relief of Newton, to the Redskins, where he'll rejoin former coach Ron Rivera. Thus, Walker joins a QB room with Bridgewater, second-year signal-caller Will Grier, who was drafted in the third round last year and Newton, at least for the time being.

It was a busy Monday morning for Carolina, as it's also signing linebacker Tahir Whitehead to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million with a $1.45 million signing bonus, per Rapoport. Whitehead played the last two seasons for the Raiders and started all 32 games he was there with back-to-back 100-plus tackle seasons. He was also a starter in Detroit, where he played six years.

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