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Mitch Morse Signs with Jaguars in 2024 Free Agency, Citing a "Slew of Reasons" for Decision

301324 Morse Media Availability Story

JACKSONVILLE – A small reason Mitch Morse did what he did was weather-related.

"The sunshine doesn't hurt," he said.

Morse, a veteran center, signed with the Jaguars as a free agent Wednesday morning. And while the 10-year veteran said "feeling his fingers in November and December" was among "a slew" of reasons he did so, multiple others stood out. Among them:

  • Head Coach Doug Pederson.
  • The Jaguars' potential both offensively and defensively.
  • Quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Morse, who played the last five seasons with the Buffalo Bills, played for the Kansas City Chiefs when Pederson was offensive coordinator there in Morse's 2015 rookie season and Morse said he "always has been trying to get back to him ever since he became a head coach." Morse, too, said he was impressed with the Jaguars – offensively and defensively – in the Jaguars' 25-20 victory over Buffalo this past season.

"We got absolutely smacked last year in London," Morse said.

Perhaps most importantly, he said, he is impressed with Lawrence – the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft who will enter his fourth season as a starter in 2024.

"I think this league is a quarterback driven league – and to win this league, you have to have a quarterback with the tangibles and the intangibles," Morse said during a videoconference with Jacksonville media. "I think Trevor kind of embodies both of those things."

Morse, 31, started 77 games for the Bills in five seasons and was a Pro Bowl selection following the 2022 season. A second-round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, he started 49 games in four seasons for that franchise.

Morse played the 2018 season with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a three-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player and two-time NFL Most Valuable Player. He played the past five seasons with two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Josh Allen.

"I'm not going to sit here and say, 'I coached these dudes up,'''' Morse said. "They were on a trajectory to be fantastic without me. The one thing I pride myself on is facilitating football for them anyway that I can. That's for the team in general – offensive line room, whatever's required of me.

"What I did learn in those rooms is you have to have the locker room behind you. For all intents and purposes, what I've heard is that Trevor has got his finger on the pulse of the locker room and the guys jam on him being their quarterback."

Morse, released by the Bills March 6 in a salary-cap-related move, reportedly met with the Steelers and Jaguars before signing with the Jaguars seven days after his release.

"It's definitely better than the alternative, which is you wait around and you figure out no one wants you," Morse said with a smile. "It happened quickly. It was a hailstorm, to say the least, but it was a blessing and a privilege, and my wife and I feel the same way.

"We're glad we wrapped this up within a week."

Morse said while he played for Pederson as a rookie before playing three more seasons in a Chiefs offensive scheme similar to that of the Jaguars, "I don't know how much it has evolved since."  He said his primary focus in the coming weeks re-acclimating to the offense and fitting into the Jaguars' offensive line room.

"You try to immerse yourself fully within the group," Morse said. "The last thing you want in any team or any facet of life you've been around is someone coming in and talking like they've been there for years and having some rah-rah deal and immediately you're, 'It's for the birds.' You're not into it. For me, I'm trying to have a relationship with these guys.

"You just try to have a certain relationship that aligns with their personality. It just takes time and I'm looking forward to taking that time, getting to know these guys and hopefully helping them any way I can."

Morse said while he was hurt by his release from Buffalo "on the personal side," he added he also understood the move was made for business reasons.

"Whenever you get personal and business mixed up, you get in trouble," Morse said. "The best teams I truly believe are the ones focusing on football and building a family environment. But also understand that inherently this is a business. Time marches on and it happened quickly.

"We're so excited to be not only a part of this organization but to immerse ourselves in the Jacksonville area."

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