QB Stephen Morris to Start Season as a Philadelphia Eagle
As the National Football League's 2015 season opener approaches, the waiver wire is full of activity. After spending a little more than a year as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad, QB Stephen Morris was unceremoniously given his release on September 4, 2015. Two days later, he was promptly claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Why the Moves?
It would appear that Morris was first a victim and then the beneficiary of the numbers game. When the Jaguars decided to start the season with only two quarterbacks (starter Blake Bortles and Chad Henne in a backup role), Morris was sent packing. At the same time, Eagle's Head Coach Chip Kelly was working feverishly to resolve his team's quarterback issues. The first move came on September 4 when Matt Barkley was traded to the Arizona Cardinals. The following day, Tim Tebow was given his release and set free to join another team. It was Kelly's final decision to start the season with three quarterbacks that led him to pull Morris off waivers. With starting quarterback Sam Bradford's injury history, he probably felt he needed the extra insurance at that position. Morris will take the third-string slot behind backup QB Mark Sanchez.So Who is Stephan Morris?
Stephen Morris was born on August 27, 1992 in Miami, Florida. He started his high school career playing other positions before he settled in at quarterback while playing for Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens, Florida. As a senior, he completed 240 passes for 3,536 yards, which was enough to draw the attention of several high-profile universities. In the end, he decided to stay home and signed to play with the Miami Hurricanes.
In his first two seasons with Miami, he saw limited playing time, mostly clean-up duty with a few starts. In his junior season, his patience was rewarded when he was handed the starting job. He would
go on to start in all 12 games, compiling a record of 245 of 421 passing for a total of 3,345 yards and 21 TDs while leading the Canes to a record of 7-5. It should be noted that Morris set the Atlantic Coast Conference record for passing yards in a single game with 566 in a game played on September 29 against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Due to possible NCAA sanctions, the team decided to pass on bowl invitations that year. When Morris came back for his senior year, the Canes went 8-4 behind Morris' 3,028 yards passing and another 21 TDs.
After going undrafted in the 2014 NFL draft, Morris was signed by the Jaguars as a free agent. He was cut from the team one week prior to the start of the 2014 season, only to be resigned to the practice squad two days later. During the 2015 preseason, he was given the opportunity to show he was ready to play professional football. In limited playing time with the Jaguars, he threw 42 passes of which he completed 23 for one touchdown and no interceptions. When the time came to make a decision about his future with the team, the numbers weren't there and he was released on waivers.The Future
For Morris, the best opportunity he'll have to play in the NFL is if Bradford's history of injuries comes back to haunt him. He was injured and missed nine games in 2013, only to come back and get injured again before the start of the 2014 season, causing him to spend the whole season on the sidelines with the St. Louis Rams. Without injuries, Mr. Morris could be spending most of this season on the bench.
This article was written by author Tony Samboras. Tony is a big fan of sports and contributes his time writing for several online publications. In his professional life he writes for simplythebetsus.com