Nicholas Morrow

Bills To Sign LB Nicholas Morrow

Nicholas Morrow‘s Eagles stock bounced up and down last year, but the veteran linebacker ended up playing a bigger-than-expected role. The Bills took interest and will bring in the longtime starter.

Buffalo will sign the former Raiders, Bears and Eagles ILB, per’s Mike Garafolo, who notes the sides agreed on a one-year pact Tuesday. Morrow started 12 games for the Eagles last season. He did so while operating as Philadelphia’s defensive signal-caller, so his absence will be missed in 2024.

Taking on a major role with the Eagles’ defense, Morrow made 95 tackles; that represents the second-highest total of his career. The former UDFA had topped 100 stops in 2022 with the Bears, but that production only landed him a one-year accord last offseason. After having a hand in a defense which struggled mightily down the stretch in the Eagles’ NFC title defense, Morrow will again find himself on the move via a short-term agreement.

Buffalo lost Tremaine Edmunds in free agency last year, creating a major vacancy at the linebacker spot. 2022 third-rounder Terrel Bernard took on a starting role as a result, racking up 143 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Tyrel Dodson also logged a notable defensive workload, although he was also used heavily on special teams (as has been the case in previous years for him). The latter is a pending free agent, and his departure could be foreshadowed by Morrow’s addition.

In any case, the 28-year-old will offer considerable experience alongside Bernard and veteran Matt Milano. Morrow has 94 games (58 starts) to his name, and he recorded three sacks, five pass deflections and a forced fumble with the Eagles last season. He will look to replicate (or better) those figures in Buffalo while aiming to avoid the late-season letdown experienced in Philadelphia.

Sam Robinson contributed to this post. 

NFC East Notes: Giants, Eagles, Harris

After seeing their 2022 receiver plan implode, the Giants made a number of moves to address the position this offseason. They added outside free agents Parris Campbell and Jamison Crowder (since cut) while re-signing Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard. Both Shepard and 2022 second-rounder Wan’Dale Robinson made their way back from ACL tears this year. Big Blue, which retained Isaiah Hodgins via ERFA tender, also drafted Jalin Hyatt in Round 3. But trade pickup Darren Waller stands as the team’s most proven pass catcher. As the Giants have looked like one of the NFL’s worst teams,’s Dan Graziano notes they came into this season viewing their receiver situation as unsettled to the point they hoped Waller and Saquon Barkley could cover it up early in the campaign.

Injuries along the offensive line — after a woeful debut with a mostly healthy offense in Week 1 — have helped sink the Giants to 1-4. Daniel Jones is out for Week 6, and the starter has struggled, leaving any receiver upgrades as largely irrelevant to start the season. The Giants do not have notable cash committed to wideouts beyond this season, being able to escape Slayton’s two-year, $12MM deal fairly easily. The Giants, who rank 32nd in total offense, have only seen one of their wideouts — Slayton — eclipse 110 receiving yards this season. It appears clear rebuilding this group will end up a multiyear project for GM Joe Schoen.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • The Commanders‘ defense ranks 31st in points allowed through five games. Although it is early, that is a steep drop-off from its 2022 finish (seventh). The team allowed 40 points to the previously winless Bears, and its narrow wins over the struggling Cardinals and Broncos do not look especially good. That said, the team’s new ownership has not applied early-season pressure on Ron Rivera, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets. Josh Harris is being patient with Rivera and Co., and while Anderson adds some of the others in Washington’s ownership group do not necessarily share this stance, Dan Snyder‘s successor is allowing this to play out for now. Rivera confirmed (via the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala) no staff changes are taking place.
  • Nicholas Morrow has played well in relief of Nakobe Dean, grading as Pro Football Focus’ No. 5 overall linebacker. The former Raiders and Bears starter has tallied 33 tackles and three sacks. But a backup job may be in the cards once Dean is activated from IR. The Eagles should be considered likelier to reinstall Dean as a starter over returning the 2022 third-round pick to a backup role,’s Zach Berman notes. Dean suffered a foot injury in Week 1, but the Eagles let Kyzir White and T.J. Edwards walk this offseason with the intent on bumping the 2021 Butkus award winner into the starting lineup. Zach Cunningham, who signed with the Eagles during training camp, resides as the team’s other ILB starter.
  • Dean’s former Georgia teammate, Jalen Carter is not yet a starter. But the No. 9 overall pick has validated the Eagles’ decision to stop his first-round slide, having totaled 3.5 sacks, four tackles for loss and two forced fumbles through five games. PFF’s top-graded interior D-lineman, Carter slipped in the draft due to off-field matters. Most notably, the standout D-tackle’s arrest warrant for reckless driving and racing — at a scene in which two Georgia program members died in a car accident — led to a few teams passing in Round 1. The Eagles had Carter as the highest-rated player on their board, per ESPN’s Tim McManus, though the NFC champions were not certain he would fall far enough. The Seahawks were high on Carter’s talent but did not feel they had the leadership necessary to make the pick at No. 5, while McManus notes the Eagles felt their veterans and previous Georgia investments (Dean, Jordan Davis) would help keep Carter in line. We had heard about some Georgia coaches passing on endorsing Carter, citing effort and attitude, and McManus notes the DT punching then-teammate Quay Walker in 2020 contributed to this.

Eagles Place LB Nakobe Dean On IR, Promote LB Nicholas Morrow

SEPTEMBER 12: Dean’s absence will lead to an IR placement, the team announced. In a corresponding move, the Eagles signed Morrow to their active roster. Morrow signed with the Eagles this offseason but did not land on their 53-man roster. The former Raiders and Bears starter landed on the Eagles’ practice squad; he is now back on the active roster. Dean is not eligible to come back until Week 6.

SEPTEMBER 11: The Eagles came away with a win in Week 1, but their middle linebacking unit suffered a notable blow. Nakobe Dean is set miss multiple weeks with a foot injury, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

No surgery will be required to address the issue, but the injury is serious enough that an IR stint is a possibility, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes. An IR designation would require an absence of at least four games and the team using one of its eight in-season activations, so a decision on that front will be worth watching. Geoff Mosher of Inside the Birds reports that the injury is expected to sideline Dean for four weeks.

With Dean not in the picture for the time being, an Eagles LB corps which was already thin will be without a starter. Expectations were high for the Georgia alum after he served in a rotational capacity as a rookie last year and was set up for a first-team role beginning in 2023. Christian Elliss is likely to fill in with the starting lineup for the time being, and the reigning NFC champions also have Nicholas Morrow available on the practice squad.

The team has moved quickly in finding another contributor at the position, though. Fowler’s colleague Adam Schefter reports that Rashaan Evans has been added to the practice squad. The former Titans first-rounder spent his first four seasons in Tennessee before heading to Atlanta last year. He started all 17 games for the Falcons, posting 159 tackles and a pair of sacks. That led to mutual interest in a re-up, but Evans remained on the open market throughout the offseason.

Now, the 27-year-old will join an Eagles team in need of depth at the linebacker spot and likely see time on gamedays in short order. Players can be elevated to the active roster up to three times in a season, but veterans in Evans’ situation often sign from the taxi squad to a full-time position relatively quickly. Evans would be hard-pressed to see action in the Eagles’ upcoming Thursday night contest, but he may be on the field not long after that.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/4/23

Here are Monday’s practice squad transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: CB Quavian White

Baltimore Ravens

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

New England Patriots

  • Signed: DL Jeremiah Pharms Jr.

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

The Giants are not certain to have Wan’Dale Robinson available in Week 1. The 2022 second-round pick just came off the team’s active/PUP list, a sign the team believes he can return at some point during the season’s first four weeks. Beasley did not make the Giants’ 53-man roster but resided as a possible P-squad elevation option as Robinson protection. This moves nixes that path, as Beasley cannot play until Week 5.

Morrow has gone from potential Eagles starting linebacker to a player who did not make the defending NFC champions’ active roster. But the team still has the former Raiders and Bears starter in its plans. Morrow, who had signed a one-year deal worth the league minimum this offseason, is now positioned as a depth piece who could be elevated ahead of Week 1. Teams can use two P-squad elevations each week, in addition to standard promotions — which require corresponding roster moves — ahead of the Saturday-afternoon deadline.

Better known as the player chosen with the second-round pick obtained for DeAndre Hopkins, Blacklock moved from Houston to Minnesota via trade in August 2022. But he did not make the Vikings’ 53-man roster this year. The fourth-year D-lineman will be a depth option for the Jaguars.

Eagles To Release LB Nicholas Morrow

Positioned as a prospective starter going into training camp, Nicholas Morrow will not land on the Eagles’ 53-man roster. The Eagles are releasing the veteran linebacker, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.

The Eagles made multiple moves at linebacker during camp, signing Zach Cunningham and Myles Jack. The latter ended up retiring, ending a short stint, while Cunningham is on track to play a role for Philly this season.

Opting to allocate resources elsewhere this offseason, the Eagles let T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White walk in free agency. That opened up most of the Birds’ linebacker snaps. Nakobe Dean, a 2022 third-round pick, is on track to be Philly’s centerpiece at the position this season. The Eagles used the Georgia standout as a backup last year. But some questions exist about how the Eagles will line up on their defensive second level.

Morrow, 28, made the successful climb from Division III to the NFL. He worked as a Raiders regular, starting 29 games with the team, before a season-nullifying injury ended his run with the AFC West team. The Bears gave Morrow a bounce-back opportunity, and he finished with career-high numbers in tackles (116) and TFLs (11). Of course, Chicago did not exactly deploy a reliable defense last season. Next to no market formed for Morrow this offseason. He signed a one-year, $1.16MM deal to join the Eagles, who did not include any guarantees in the low-cost accord.

Cunningham has made 76 starts and would make for a logical Dean running mate. The Titans made Cunningham a cap casualty in February. Christian Elliss resides as another linebacker piece for the Eagles, though the former UDFA has appeared in only seven games for the team in two seasons.

Eagles Eyeing Nicholas Morrow As LB Starter

While the Eagles carried notable veteran linebacker contracts on their books in the not-so-distant past, the team has shifted toward a low-cost blueprint at this position in recent years. The defending NFC champions continued down this road this offseason.

Philadelphia let both its Super Bowl LVII regulars at linebacker — T.J. Edwards and Kyzir Whitewalk in free agency rather than pay up to keep them. Beyond Tremaine Edmunds and Bobby Okereke‘s deals, paying up did not mean upper-crust salaries. The next tier of starter-caliber ILBs received between $5-$7MM in free agency. The friendly market did not prompt Philly to go off-script.

After a developmental year as a second-stringer, 2022 third-rounder Nakobe Dean is in line to start. As of now, a Division III success story is favored to join him as the Eagles’ other ILB regular. Nicholas Morrow, who signed a one-year deal worth just $1.16MM, sits as the frontrunner to start alongside Dean, Zach Berman of The Athletic notes (subscription required).

Morrow, who will turn 28 next week, did not come close to matching Dean’s prospect profile. He played at Greenville (Ill.) University and caught on with the Raiders as a UDFA in 2017. But the unlikely long-term NFLer has extensive experience in starting lineups. Morrow has worked as a first-stringer in 46 games, including 17 for the Bears last season. The seventh-year vet established career-high totals in tackles (116) and tackles for loss (11). This came after Morrow suffered what turned out to be a season-ending ankle injury during a training camp practice in August 2021.

Despite Morrow making his way back from that malady to be a full-timer on a rebuilding Bears team, Pro Football Focus slotted him outside the top 60 at the position. PFF did grade Morrow as a top-30 ILB option in 2020, however.

During Morrow’s second free agency foray, he could not come especially close to the above-referenced second tier of the off-ball linebacker market. While Edwards, White and ex-Eagle starter Alex Singleton fetched AAVs between $5MM and $6.5MM (from the Bears, Cardinals and Broncos), Morrow joined the Eagles for no guaranteed money. This could create a wide range of outcomes come training camp, as players without guarantees are obviously simpler cut candidates. Third-year UDFA Christian Elliss might push Morrow for playing time, per Berman, but the young defender has only played 29 career defensive snaps.

The Eagles once carried Mychal Kendricks and Nigel Bradham extensions on their payroll, though Bradham’s 2018 contract (five years, $40MM) only coexisted with Kendricks’ Chip Kelly-era extension for two months. The Eagles cut Kendricks in May 2018. Since releasing Bradham after the 2019 season, the team has rolled with bottom-tier contracts on its defensive second level. Dean fits the mold, being signed to a rookie deal through 2025. Morrow, who has never played in an NFL postseason game, will have a chance to carve out a higher-profile role for himself on his league-minimum deal.

Eagles Sign LB Nicholas Morrow

The Eagles have seen a number of defensive losses so far in free agency, but they continue to make additions to the unit as well. Philadelphia has agreed to terms on a deal with linebacker Nicholas Morrow, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (Twitter link). The team has announced that it is a one-year contract.

Morrow spent the first four years of his career with the Raiders, growing into a key role as a notable part of the team’s linebacking corps. His play over his first three seasons earned him a one-year deal to remain with the organization, and he responded with a career-year.

That was followed by another, more lucrative one-year pact in 2021, but Morrow’s campaign was derailed by a foot injury. He wound missing the entire season that year, which no doubt hurt his market in free agency. He inked a prove-it deal with the Bears last offseason, giving him the opportunity to boost his value and serve in a full-time starting role.

The 27-year-old was on the field for every defensive play this past season, logging over 1,000 snaps for the first time in his career. He racked up 116 total stops and 11 tackles for loss, both new career highs. While those figures didn’t translate to an uptick in PFF grades (which have remained relatively underwhelming throughout his career), they showed his ability to handle starting duties and a sizeable workload. The Bears’ considerable investment in the second level of their defense this offseason, however, made Morrow expendable.

The Eagles’ defensive exodus has hit their LB corps, with T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White landing new deals in Chicago and Arizona, respectively. Their absences has left a notable vacancy, one which Morrow will now contribute to filling. The former UDFA will likely be tasked with a lesser workload than the one he had with the Bears, but he should still see significant playing time on the inside along with the likes of Davion TaylorNakobe Dean and other members of the team’s recent draft investments at the position.

LB Nicholas Morrow To Sign With Bears

Following five seasons with the Raiders, Nicholas Morrow is heading to Chicago. The Bears are signing the linebacker, reports ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Twitter).

Fowler transformed from an undrafted free agent into a serviceable linebacker during his time with the Raiders organization. Morrow ultimately spent five years with the organization, seeing time in 62 games (29 starts).

Morrow re-signed with the Raiders last offseason, but he landed on injured reserve before the regular season with a foot injury. There were some whispers that he could be activated in time for the playoffs, but the linebacker ended up sitting out the entire 2021 campaign.

That means 2020 was the last time Morrow saw the field, but he was plenty productive during that campaign. He saw time in 14 games (11 starts) that season, collecting 78 tackles, three sacks, and nine passes defended.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/11/22

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Designated to return to practice: WR Auden Tate

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Football Team

Raiders Place LB Nick Morrow, RB Jalen Richard On IR

The Raiders are placing four players on IR. Running back Jalen Richard, linebacker Nick Morrow, and defensive backs Keisean Nixon and Javin White will be shelved for at least the first three weeks of the season, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). To take the open roster spots, the team has signed offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor and re-signed both tight end Derek Carrier and safety Dallin Leavitt. (via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez on Twitter).

Richard has spent five seasons with the Raiders, including a 2018 campaign where he finished with 866 yards from scrimmage. He hasn’t been able to match that production over the past two years, combining for only 729 yards from scrimmage in 29 games. The 27-year-old is expected to be a primary backup to Josh Jacobs for another season in 2021.

Morrow had a career year for the Raiders in 2020, finishing with career-highs across the board. The linebacker has been dealing with a foot injury since late August, and he was expected to be sidelined for the start of the regular season. The team brought in some reinforcement at the position today when they signed veteran K.J. Wright.

Nixon has appeared in 29 games for the Raiders over the past two years, turning into one of the team’s special teams stalwarts. White, a 2020 undrafted free agent out of UNLV, got into four games with the Raiders as a rookie.