Veteran midfielder P.J. Walker agreed to rejoin the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad on Wednesday after the Chicago Bears released him on Sunday.
Walker signed a two-year, $4.15 million contract with the Bears this offseason, with more than $2 million in guarantees.
While this makes his release disappointing, it’s not a huge surprise.
The 28-year-old was expected to serve as Justin Fields’ backup, but he struggled throughout training camp and the preseason, while undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent has played well and eventually took over as a replacement for Walker and Nathan Peterman, whose designated hitters were also removed. .
The writing was on the wall for Walker after he didn’t play in the team’s final preseason game until the fourth quarter, though he finished 6-of-11 for 71 yards and a touchdown.
But it was Bagent who came into the game after Fields, not Walker.
“I ain’t a fool,” he told reporters at the time “I can read the room. I know what it is. It’s a business, and if you ain’t performing, you ain’t going to be able to play. So, for me it’s just go out there, perform at a high level or you don’t play. It is what it is.”
Walker started five games and appeared a total of 11 times for the Carolina Panthers last season, totaling 731 passing yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions while catching seven sacks and completing just 59.4% of his passes.
The Panthers went 2-3 from the start and also outplayed Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold at the position last season before trading for the pick first in this year’s draft and selected Alabama’s Bryce Young for the backup job, as Dorian Thompson-Robinson won the job behind Deshaun Watson, leading to Kellen being released to Mond. Mond is a candidate candidate to return to the team in a practice squad role before the addition of Walker.