An ex-New York Jets quarterback is getting another chance to prove he belongs.
This offseason Gang Green played the NFL version of musical chairs. You only have 53 spots on your final roster and 16 members on the practice squad.
Once you get to those final deadlines you have to make some tough business decisions and the Jets did exactly that when they tried to sneak their former fourth-rounder James Morgan onto the practice squad.
After releasing him, Morgan cleared waivers and had the chance to return to the team but declined and joined the Carolina Panthers practice squad instead.
ALL the latest Jets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Jets newsletter here!
Well It Ended up Working Out
When he initially joined the Panthers days before their Week 1 scheduled matchup versus the Jets it raised a lot of eyebrows in terms of the validity.
It’s a common move for opposing teams to bring in a recently released player from the team they’re facing to do a brain drain session. In those specific cases, they have no long-term interest in the player they’re simply using him temporarily, and then once the game is over they move on.
While there were some questions at first, those were irrelevant because Morgan was on the Panthers from September 2 through this past week when he was released on November 12.
The decision ended up working out for both parties.
While on the other side of the coin, Morgan earned a paycheck for two and a half months with the best job in all of sports being a clipboard holder.
A New Opportunity Has Arisen
Morgan has joined the Steelers practice squad after being let go by the Panthers in the middle of their own quarterback carousel with Sam Darnold going to injured reserve and Cam Newton coming back to the league.
Right before this week’s game between Pittsburgh and the Detroit Lions, Ben Roethlisberger was placed on the reserve/COVID list.
The Steelers had two additional quarterbacks on the active roster in Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins. Although there is a ton of uncertainty at the position.
Big Ben is 39 years old and his future looks murky and the other quarterbacks on the roster are total question marks.
This is a golden opportunity for an ex-Jets quarterback to turn in his clipboard for a potential quarterback competition next offseason.
There is nothing wrong with being a career backup if that is what Morgan ends up being, but he could have a chance to be in that starting conversation.
Over the next few weeks, he just has to put his nose to the grindstone, learn the playbook as quickly as possible, and then start competing.