MORE: NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks in salary, guaranteed money and total contract valueOn one hand, Walker’s dynamic athleticism and impressive arm strength might be a combination that makes Bridgewater sweat, if there’s open competition for the starting job.Don’t be caught off guard when PJ Walker is clearly the more explosive athlete and plays just as good/better than Bridgewater as a passer. This will be a underrated QB situation to watch.— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) March 23, 2020On the other hand, there’s a case to be made that Walker is the typical “camp arm” (and legs), and that he wasn’t the best quarterback prospect out of the XFL primed for an NFL return.Garrett Gilbert and John Wolford were the best-graded QBs in the AAF.PF Walker was the THIRD (or 4th, depending on PT threshold) best graded in the XFL.But we really think he’s beating out Bridgewater in CAR?Come on.— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) March 23, 2020Bridgewater was on the Saints in 2018 when new Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady was an assistant there — but Walker has a direct connection to new coach Matt Rhule. He played college football for Rhule at Temple, and was a big part of that program’s turnaround.Bridgewater went 5-0 filling in for an injured Drew Brees in New Orleans last season, throwing for 1,384 yards and nine touchdowns to only two interceptions. He had a completion percentage of 67.9 and a passer rating of 99.1 at 7.1 yards per attempt.Walker went 5-0 leading the Roughnecks to the XFL’s best record. He threw for 1,338 yards and 15 touchdowns to only four interceptions. He had a completion percentage of 64.7 and an NFL-translated passer rating of 104.4, at 7.3 yards per attempt. There’s a similarity in those numbers, but the obvious big difference was the level of competition.Bridgewater did lean on strong support from the running game, wide receiver Michael Thomas and the Saints’ defense. But he wasn’t a caretaker by any means, remaining effective when he was needed to come through with higher passing volume. It’s what led to his massive payday and presumed promotion back to full starting status for the first time since his 2015 Pro Bowl season with the Vikings.Walker made a lot of highlight-reel plays as one of the XFL’s breakout stars. He extended plays with his legs and delivered good touch and accuracy on his passes, from short to deep. That building resume, the XFL’s sudden stoppage and the Rhule connection all lined up for him to get a shot with the Panthers.pic.twitter.com/ILbOyRg4OV— John Ellis (@OnePantherPlace) March 23, 2020FREE AGENCY TRACKER: 10 best unsigned free agentsWhen Walker last tried to make the NFL, he was an undrafted free agent with the Colts. Although he never made Indianapolis’ final in-season roster, he lasted into the last round of cuts for three offseasons through 2019. He did some things very well in preseason action, helped most by the coaching combination of Frank Reich and Nick Sirianni.Everything still points to Walker remaining a developmental project, now more of a boosted pet project because of Rhule. Bridgewater, even missing essentially two seasons since he was drafted in the first round in 2014, has major experience on his side. And he had recent success executing one of the league’s most complex offenses.Walker is still new to reading pro defenses, NFL or otherwise. At 5-11, 214 pounds, he gets another shot to prove his other skills make his undersized frame a non-issue. P.J. Walker was on his way to winning XFL MVP with the Houston Roughnecks before that league’s reboot season was cut short due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2020. Now that he’s back in the NFL with the Panthers, does he have any chance of starting at quarterback?Depends on whom you ask. With Kyle Allen traded to the Redskins and Cam Newton expected to be released soon, Walker — signed to a two-year deal — will presumably battle Will Grier for the No. 2 position behind Teddy Bridgewater, whom the Panthers signed to a three-year, $63 million deal last week. Allen being traded right after Walker’s signing clears one obstacle on the depth chart. Walker also clearly carries more upside than Grier, a former third-round pick. The money says Bridgewater won’t be facing a battle now, but keep in mind that he signed a team-friendly deal, one the Panthers can get out of in two seasons while losing only $5 million in dead cap.Carolina should keep exploring and adding quarterback options to a rebuilding team. Walker has the same kind of intrigue as a middle-round rookie draft pick would have. In the end, Grier may not be ready to either push — or help — Bridgewater be his best. A motivated and more raw-talented Walker can.Although there’s uncertainty on just how openly the Panthers will let Walker compete beyond Grier’s spot, one thing is for certain: Their quarterback situation post-Newton got a whole lot more interesting.