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Mitch Morse Reveals Why He Signed with Jaguars Over Steelers in Free Agency: ‘I Wanted to Go to Football Heaven’

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Steelers possible free agent target center Mitch Morse

Jacksonville Jaguars center Mitch Morse loved everything about his visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency, but it wasn’t as enticing as Jacksonville, mainly because of head coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Pederson and Morse crossed paths in Kansas City. Pederson was the Chiefs offensive coordinator during his rookie season in 2015.

“I wanted to go to football heaven,” Morse said on the Love You Bro podcast. “Not to say the Steelers weren’t that option, they totally were, but something about Trevor Lawrence and of course Doug [Pederson], and other guys that I know, it just made that decision easy for me at the end.”

Morse agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth $10.5 million with the Jaguars on the morning of March 11. The Steelers landed quarterback Russell Wilson just after midnight on the same day, but Morse instead agreed to sign with the Jaguars.

At 32, Morse is on the back end of his career and probably thought the Jaguars’ quarterback situation gave him a better chance at winning a Super Bowl than the Steelers. Lawrence, 24, recently signed a massive five-year contract extension. How Wilson pans on it in Pittsburgh is really unpredictable after what happened in Denver.

Morse spent five seasons in Buffalo and earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2022. A 6-foot-6, 305-pound Missouri alum, he was the primary starter at center for the last five seasons for the Bills. Before that, he spent four seasons as the center for the Chiefs.

“It happened very quick. I got released on a Wednesday and committed to play I think Sunday for the Jags,” Morse said. “I went to go visit Pittsburgh, and it was between Pittsburgh and Jacksonville. And I was really hoping that I wasn’t gonna like Pittsburgh. And I went there, and I loved everything about it. I loved [Mike] Tomlin. I loved the players. Then it came down to a few things, and Jacksonville just became the right choice for my family and I.”

At the time, the Steelers were in the market for a center after releasing starter Mason Cole earlier in the offseason. The Steelers addressed the center position in the draft by selecting Zach Frazier out of West Virginia in the second round. Frazier is expected to be a plug-and-play starter.