The Seattle Seahawks have been in search of a backup quarterback since late March when former backup Trevone Boykin was released after coming under investigation for domestic violence, and early Friday Adam Schefter is reporting that the Seahawks have added a second quarterback to the roster.
Seahawks have signed former Washington QB Stephen Morris, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 13, 2018
Stephen Morris, who many of you have may have never heard of, played his college football for the Miami Hurricanes, and after going undrafted in 2014 he was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He went through camp with the Jaguars, but was waived at final cutdowns and spent the entire season on the practice squad. In 2015 he again went to training camp with the Jaguars, and after being waived at final roster cuts was claimed by the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent two weeks on the Eagles 53 man roster before being cut and spent most of the remainder of the 2014 season on their practice squad before being poached by the Indianapolis Colts in late December.
So, in 2016 Morris went to training camp with the Indianapolis Colts, where he initially survived the final roster cuts, but was waived four days later when the Colts felt the urge to add cornerback Rashaan Melvin. Morris was signed to the practice squad the next day, and spent much of 2016 on the Colts practice squad, with the exception of eight days for which he was on the active roster in November and December before returning to the practice squad.
In 2017 he again went through training camp with the Colts and once again survived final cuts at the end of camp, only to be waived the next day when Indianapolis was awarded multiple players off waivers. Out of practice squad eligibility, Morris was out of the NFL for 2017. In January he signed a futures contract with the Washington Redskins, but Washington waived him on Monday after acquiring Kevin Hogan from the Cleveland Browns.
So, having bounced around a lot during his four years since college, what Morris brings to the table is the fact that he has worked with new Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer in the each of the past two years. That includes two training camps where Schottenheimer was his quarterbacks coach, and one full season on the practice squad and active roster. As far as his football abilities, here is what was written about him in his NFL.com draft profile coming out of the University of Miami:
STRENGTHS Very good arm strength and athletic ability. Can move around the pocket and buy a second chance. Throws with velocity and can rifle the ball into tight spots. Can drill back-shoulder throws. Can adapt his arm and throwing platform and release it from a variety of angles under duress with ease. Has natural leadership traits.
WEAKNESSES Average overall size with a relatively thin build. Sporadic accuracy. Sprays the ball and struggles to hit receivers in stride (best with stationary targets). Does not throw his receivers open. Marginal timing, anticipation and rhythm. Struggles to handle pressure and presses to create plays -- eyes drop to the rush very quickly and vacates the pocket prematurely. Makes too many head-scratching decisions. Birddogs his primary target and will force the ball. Career 57.7 completion percentage is indicative of accuracy at all layers even with a clean pocket. Makes his receivers consistently work for the ball.
BOTTOM LINE Was forced to cycle through three offenses in four years at the helm and never grew comfortable as a passer. Teases evaluators with his arm and athletic talent, but must prove he can hone his accuracy and decision-making. Has moldable talent for a backup role and enough raw tools to pique the interest of a patient quarterbacks coach. Will require a strong offensive line and a full supporting cast of weapons to function. Developmental talent.
Thus, he’s not going to light the world on fire with his play, but he’s certainly better than the empty roster spot that was holding down the backup roster spot. In any case, we’ll see what else the team does at the backup quarterback position in the coming weeks, and who else gets added to the roster through both free agency and the draft.