Quarterback P.J. Walker, brought in to back up Chicago starter Justin Fields, was released by the Bears on Sunday.
Walker, 28, had played the past three seasons for the Carolina Panthers and signed a two-year contract with Chicago in March worth a reported $4.15 million with over $2 million in guarantees.
Instead, the competition for the backup role, for now, will be between veteran Nathan Peterman and undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent, a star at NCAA Division II Shepherd University. Bagent won the 2021 Harlon Hill Trophy, the Division II equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
Bagent replaced Fields in the Bears‘ preseason finale Saturday, a 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Bagent went 7-for-14 for 43 yards and one interception. He also ran four times for 23 yards, including 8 yards for a touchdown.
Walker entered the game in the fourth quarter and went 6 of 11 for 71 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown pass. In three preseason games, he was 11 of 23 for 96 yards, one TD, one interception and a 55.7 passer rating.
Walker played 15 games, including seven starts, for the Panthers from 2020-22. He completed 131 of 228 attempts (57.5 percent) for 1,461 yards, five touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 63.9 passer rating.
Chicago also waived offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood, a first-round pick (17th overall) of the Raiders in the 2021 NFL Draft. After Las Vegas released him on Aug. 31, 2022, Chicago claimed him the next day. Leatherwood, 24, played in four games last season.
The Bears also waived Gabe Houy with an injury designation, meaning he will revert to the team’s injured reserve if he’s not claimed off waivers by Wednesday’s deadline.
—Field Level Media
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