Along with quarterback Drew Brees and safety Malcolm Jenkins, New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead was one of the few remaining holdovers from their incredible 2009 Super Bowl run. And the city of New Orleans is grateful for his contributions.
Morstead was released today after 12 seasons with the Saints. In those 12 years, Morstead started all but two games. He made the Pro Bowl in 2012 and averaged 46.5 yards per punt throughout his career.
But his greatest contribution to the Saints inarguably came in Super Bowl XLIV against the Indianapolis Colts. At the beginning of the second half, Morstead successfully pulled off a surprise onsides kick that swung the game in New Orleans’ favor. They went on to beat the Colts 31-17 to win their first-ever Super Bowl title.
Drew Brees was named the MVP of the game. But Morstead became a legend for pulling off the most game-changing onsides kick in NFL history. And he is getting all kinds of praise from the organization and fans alike for what he did.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) March 4, 2021
It's too bad the voting for punters isn't representative of how important that position is to actual football, because Thomas Morstead has had a HOF career.
— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) March 4, 2021
— BVO CAL (DD STAN) ⚜️ (@AC_SaintsStan) March 4, 2021
In case you forgot, here's Thomas Morstead tearing rib cartilage saving a TD in the '18 playoff v. Vikings. He played in pain the rest of game & led stunned Saints back out for req. Vikes PAT, an act of pure class which raised over $221,000 for a Minn. children's hospital pic.twitter.com/FA696W2u1y
— Michael DeMocker (@MichaelDeMocker) March 4, 2021
With Thomas Morstead now gone, Drew Brees, Malcolm Jenkins and head coach Sean Payton are the only contributors from that great Super Bowl team left. And that number is expected to drop by one in the weeks to come.
The New Orleans Saints have managed to maintain their status as one of the elite teams for the better part of 15 years. Morstead and Brees departing will all but end that particular era as the Saints look try to return to the Super Bowl with a different core of players from the one that got them there in 2009.
Where does Thomas Morstead rank among the all-time great NFL punters?