The Bears on Thursday agreed to a two-year contract with backup quarterback P.J. Walker, pending a physical.
Walker, 28, spent the past three seasons with the Panthers, appearing in 15 games with seven starts and throwing for 1,461 yards with five touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 63.9 passer rating.
Since arriving in Carolina in 2020, Walker teamed with star receiver DJ Moore, who was acquired by the Bears from the Panthers in a blockbuster trade that became official Wednesday.
Last season Walker played in six games with five starts, passing for 731 yards with three TDs, three interceptions and a 78.0 rating. His five starts came in consecutive games from Week 6-10 after Baker Mayfield was sidelined with an ankle injury.
In Walker's second start last year, he threw a 20-yard TD pass to Moore in a 21-3 win over the Buccaneers. A week later, the two connected on a spectacular 62-yard TD pass that forged a 34-34 tie with the Falcons with :12 remaining in a game that Atlanta eventually won in overtime.
Walker entered the NFL in 2017 as an undrafted free agent with the Colts. He spent his first two seasons on Indianapolis' practice squad, including in 2018 when Bears coach Matt Eberflus served as Colts defensive coordinator.
Walker played in the XFL in the spring of 2020 with the Houston Roughnecks. He passed for four TDs in a 37-17 season-opening win over the Los Angeles Wildcats, earning the league's first Star of the Week Award.
The XFL folded due to COVID-19 on March 20, 2020. Walker finished with a 5-0 record as a starter and led the league with 1,338 passing yards and 15 touchdown passes. The 5-11, 210-pounder signed with the Panthers five days later, rejoining coach Matt Rhule, his coach at Temple.
Walker left Temple as the school's all-time leader in wins by a starting quarterback, passing yards, passing TDs, attempts, completions, total yards and total touchdowns. In 2016, he led the Owls to their first conference championship in 49 years and their first back-to-back bowl appearances in school history in 2015-16.