Eagles sign veteran linebacker Nicholas Morrow from Bears
Eagles begin rebuilding LB corps with Bears veteran originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
After losing Kyzir White and T.J. Edwards in free agency, the Eagles signed a veteran linebacker Tuesday morning.
The Eagles announced they’ve agreed to a one-year contract with Nicholas Morrow, who has 46 career starts for the Raiders and Bears, including all 17 games for Chicago last year.
Morrow, 27, was undrafted in 2017 out of Greenville University, an NCAA Division 3 school in Illinois.
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Interestingly, the Eagles lost Edwards – also an undrafted free agent – to the Bears last week, and Morrow could have a chance to replace him while Edwards replaces Morrow.
Morrow made the Raiders as a longshot undrafted rookie in 2017 and started 18 games in his first three seasons before becoming more of a regular starter in 2020 with 11 starts, three sacks, an interception and eight tackles for loss.
He signed a one-year deal with the Bears and started all 17 games with 116 tackles, including 11 for loss, which was tied for 14th-most in the league among linebackers. In 79 career games he has three interceptions, four sacks and 31 tackles for loss.
Pro Football Focus graded Morrow at 54.0 last season, among the lowest grades for starting linebackers. Out of 60 linebackers who played at least 500 snaps, Edwards ranked sixth with an 81.6 grade and Morrow ranked 52nd.
But he does instantly become the most experienced off-ball linebacker on the roster. Davion Taylor has started seven games, Shaun Bradley one and Nakobe Dean and Christian Ellis none.
That experience guarantees Morrow nothing with the Eagles.
Although terms of the deal aren’t available yet, like the deals the Eagles gave running back Rashaad Penny and cornerback Greedy Williams, this is a cheap, one-year contract with a minimal guarantee that gives the Eagles a player with some experience and upside but very little or no cap implications if they don’t make the team.
Edwards started all 20 games for the Eagles last year before signing a three-year, $19.5 million deal with the Bears. White only started nine games but played 844 snaps, 5th-most on the defense.
Among returning off-ball linebackers, Dean’s 34 snaps are the most on the team. Ellis played 22 and Bradley and Taylor didn’t play any, although Bradley played 131 in 2020 and 2021 and Taylor played 250 in 2021.
Dean is expected to take over at one of the two starting spots, but the other one is wide open, and Morrow is instantly in that mix.
A week into free agency, the Eagles have added four players from other teams – Morrow, Penny, Williams and Marcus Mariota. They’ve also re-signed Jason Kelce, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, James Bradberry and Boston Scott and restructured Darius Slay.
The Eagles have lost 10 players from the 2022 NFC Champions – starters Javon Hargrave (49ers), T.J. Edwards (Bears), Marcus Epps (Raiders), Kyzir White (Cards), Miles Sanders (Panthers), Isaac Seumalo (Steelers) and C.J. Gardner-Johnson as well as backups Gardner Minshew (Colts), Andre Dillard (Titans) and Zach Pascal (Cards).
The Eagles’ only remaining unrestricted free agents who haven’t signed elsewhere are Robert Quinn, Linval Joseph, Ndamukong Suh and Tyree Jackson.