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ET80

Houston Roughnecks - XFL

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Honestly, I think PJ would be intriguing in a few systems if we were talking about competing for a starting spot. LAC, TB, and CHI stand out. But I think two games is too soon to consider him an NFL starter on ANY team. Still, when you watch him play... The guy CLEARLY has talent. It would certainly be interesting to see him get his shot. And I mean REAL shot.

We see this all the time. Bigger-name guys or more established options get roster spots and the others get cut most of the time. And sometimes, those "others" stick somewhere else and play really well. With the Colts, it's ENTIRELY understandable how a QB with zero NFL starting experience from Temple didn't stick to the roster. Let's look at his competition and see if he could realistically beat them out in this situation:

Andrew Luck: There is almost zero chance that really any QB besides one of the NFL's top five at any given point would outplay Andrew Luck in training camp. And an even smaller chance that, even if he did, he'd get a shot over a former #1 overall pick and perennial pro-bowler in Luck.

Jacoby Brissett: PJ Walker never even competed against Jacoby Brissett until after Brissett had started for a year for the Colts, as they cut Walker, an undrafted-rookie, to make room for Brissett, a second-year player who looked really good starting for the Pats. It makes plenty of sense that they'd look outside the organization for a very cheap starting QB candidate with some experience instead of within at a UDFA from Temple. As far as resources expended go, Jacoby was drafted, which is a leg up over MVPJ. He played really good football starting for the Patriots in place of an injured Jimmy G and suspended Tom Brady in 2016 - and it was against a Colts division rival, to boot. He started a WHOLE SEASON for the Colts, and he wasn't awful. Was he a top-tier starter? Heck no! But was he bad enough to lose back-up consideration? Nope. And this year, it's the same story. Brissett has shown the ability to he a capable starter on an NFL team, and has far more experience and resources allocated than MVPJ.

Brian Hoyer: If your starting QB were to retire, and all of a sudden you were forced to start a young QB still on his rookie contract, who do you turn to to play back-up and help him prepare in the film room? A long-time back-up who has impressed in spots as a starter? And yes, Hoyer has wet the bed for sure in many chances as a starter, but he also has shown the ability to step into an NFL game and play well at times, or help a team win, and he has experience in several NFL teams' systems. He's an established veteran back-up, and that's EXACTLY what a team looks for when they're starting a young QB.

Chad Kelly: First of all, Swag Kelly didn't make the Colts final roster before the season, either. He was suspended. And people forget that Kelly was once widely-considered a first-round QB. He's extremely talented, and that's been evident every time he's gotten a shot, whether it's in college or the NFL preseason. What's been his issue? Everything off-field. But he's loaded with traits. Who would you rather have as your 3rd/practice squad QB? 3rd-year UDFA from Temple with really nothing to his name beside good play in training camp, or 3rd-year UDFA from Ole Miss, someone who has 1st-round QB talent that has played lights-out football in the pre-season, the nephew of a former NFL legend? He has all the physical talent in the world to go with an NFL pedigree, so yeah, I'd take him for a roster spot over PJ Walker. And by the time that Kelly even was out of suspension, PJ Walker had left the NFL for the XFL. 

So let's not pretend that PJ Walker was getting beaten out by guys like Brandon Allen and Chad Henne. He was getting beaten out by guys that make perfect sense for the team, considering the circumstances. And why wouldn't they? The Colts, as a whole, have made lots of very sound decisions under Ballard. But PJ Walker was still a Chris Ballard guy, so it's also not like he doesn't have any NFL traits.

It's also worth pointing out that they continuously brought back Walker for Training Camp or stashed him on the practice squad. Chris Ballard and Chuck Pagano, and then Frank Reich, all genuinely LIKE this guy enough to make sure that he's been in or around their organization continuously since day 1.

Greg McElroy said during one of the games that PJ was actually offered a roster spot on a team (I'm not sure which one) but PJ declined because he wanted a chance to play. He decided to enter the XFL, where he could compete for a starting spot. Throughout camp, Connor Cook was the Vegas favorite and media favorite to win the starting job because he's a bigger name with some NFL starting experience, but Walker was consistently better. And so far, he's been VERY impressive in the XFL.

 

Now, I don't think PJ Walker is a starter at this point. At this point, I think his ideal spot  and best-case scenario would be as a back-up for the Texans so that he's making NFL money and they have the rights to him, and he'd play back-up during the Texans' season. After the season, though, he'd have a clause in his contract that would allow him to play for the XFL. That would be a win-win-win for all three of PJ, an NFL organization, and the XFL. PJ still gets his shot to play football while making significantly more money. The Texans get an ideal back-up for Deshaun Watson with the same play-style and an intriguing talent-level. The XFL gets to retain a star player and probably one of its biggest draws, ratings-wise. 

I mean, it's not like PJ would be playing in the CFL and NFL at the same time - that would be impossible. The XFL plays AFTER the Super Bowl. It would be an ideal situation.

Right now, I think that's the best spot for someone like MVPJ Walker.

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