On Friday, the New England Patriots signed Iowa linebacker James Morris as an undrafted free agent. On Tuesday, they announced he was released from the team.
In the four days in between, he made $20,000.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, the Patriots released Morris with a failed physical designation. Since he likely had to pass the physical to sign with the team, he may have suffered an injury in his short time with the team.
Reiss reports that “the Patriots had signed Morris to a contract that included a $10,000 signing bonus and $10,000 in guaranteed base salary. That $20,000 investment ranks tied for third highest among the team’s undrafted players, which shows the club had some level of expectation that Morris would stick around a bit.”
Morris, 22, notched 400 tackles, 33 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, six interceptions, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries in his four-year career with the Hawkeyes (three years as a starter). He earned the respect of his teammates at Iowa, and was voted a team captain in 2013. He also adds special teams value, with the ability to cover kickoffs and punts.
The Patriots have enough linebackers on their roster, but their depth at the position is shaky. It’s possible that Morris could return to the team if he recovers from the injury, but for the time being, the depth is needed elsewhere.