Bears' offseason quarterback search could extend into XFL

Bryan Perez
NBC Sports Chicago

The quest for a franchise quarterback knows no ends. General managers will use the NFL Draft, free agency and trades to land one, and now they'll have an alternate route to finding a diamond in the rough at the position: The XFL.

The XFL's opening weekend provided hope and optimism that the league will actually survive (at least for a season), and if it does, the Bears will benefit. They'll get some advanced pro scouting on several quarterbacks who will be worthy of a training camp roster spot this summer.

Take Houston Roughnecks starter P.J. Walker, for example. The former Temple standout didn't have much of a run in the NFL after entering the league as an undrafted free agent with the Colts in 2017. Yet, his opening-day performance for the Roughnecks has made him an early XFL star. Walker threw for 272 yards, four touchdowns and one interception and added 26 rushing yards too.

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Walker wasn't a highly-rated prospect coming out of Temple. He never started a regular-season game in the NFL. But in Saturday's XFL debut, he looked like a quarterback who deserves a longer look. 

Walker has to stack a few good games together before Bears fans can get too excited about him (or any XFL quarterback) as a viable option for a 53-man roster spot. But it's at least promising that young quarterbacks will have the opportunity to develop into legitimate pro passers this spring.

There's also St. Louis Battlehawks starter, Jordan Ta'amu, who led his team to victory Sunday after passing for 209 yards and one touchdown and an additional 77 yards rushing. The former Ole Miss standout was a viable 2019 NFL Draft prospect who signed with the Houston Texans during training camp last season but failed to earn a spot on the active roster or practice squad. Like many other dual-threat quarterbacks, he may just need time to develop into a pro passer. The XFL is giving him the chance to do that, and if he thrives, the Bears will take notice.

Don't misunderstand the point here. The Bears aren't going to find their next starting quarterback or a realistic option to replace Mitch Trubisky in the XFL. But they might find a strong developmental player and future backup from its ranks. And that's a huge win for a team that's struggled to find consistency at the position.

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Bears' offseason quarterback search could extend into XFL originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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