Eagles claim Stephen Morris on waivers to fill No. 3 QB spot

ByPhil Sheridan via ESPN logo
Sunday, September 6, 2015

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles were determined to start the season with a mobile quarterback from the state of Florida on their roster. It just turned out to be Stephen Morris instead of Tim Tebow.

The Eagles claimed Morris, 23, off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The former University of Miami quarterback will be the No. 3 quarterback on the Eagles' roster.

Morris takes the job that Tebow and Matt Barkley competed for during training camp and the preseason. Barkley was traded to Arizona on Friday. Tebow was released Saturday, leaving the Eagles with one vacancy on their 53-man roster.

Coach Chip Kelly said Saturday that he would add a third quarterback, either on the roster or on the practice squad. By claiming Morris off waivers, the Eagles placed him on their 53-man roster.

Morris started 25 games in his junior and senior seasons at Miami, throwing for over 3,000 yards each year. After his senior year, Morris ran the 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds at the NFL scouting combine. That won him $10,000 because he was wearing Adidas shoes.

After going undrafted, Morris spent the 2014 season on the Jaguars' practice squad. He went to training camp with the Jags this summer, but was released on Saturday.

Kelly had said the Eagles would scour the waiver wire for quarterbacks after releasing Tebow. He didn't rule out a veteran, but Morris falls under the category of developmental quarterback.

A veteran would have been more likely to be ready if pressed into action early in the season. Morris will need time to get comfortable running Kelly's up-tempo offense.

Tebow would have had several months of practice time to draw from. But Kelly said Saturday that he didn't think the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner was ready.

"I think Tim's really progressed," Kelly said. "We just didn't feel like he was good enough to be the '3' right now."