|Morstead got paid for a punter. (US Presswire)|
The Saints dropped a lot of coin this offseason, when they signed quarterback Drew Brees to a five-year, $100 million deal. They've thrown out a little more cash for a position nearly as important, inking punter Thomas Morstead to a six-year, $21.9 million extension.
John Clayton of ESPN first reported the deal, and our old friend Larry Holder (now of the New Orleans Times-Picayune) confirmed that Morstead, who had one year left on his deal, received the extension. The Saints also confirmed the news.
First things first: that's a lot of scratch for a punter. You'd need an Andy Lee-like season to justify that. Morstead didn't have that kind of season, but he did have a good one. And it is worth noting that paying a punter is better than paying a kicker. No offense to kickers.
Morstead ranked fourth in the NFL in yards-per-punt with 48.3. (It's worth noting that Morstead only had 46 punts on the season, a low number, but the effect of having Brees run your offense.) Pro Football Focus graded him out as the ninth-best punter in the NFL, with the eighth-highest gross punt average.
The Saints punter, a fifth-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft is only 26, however, making the move by New Orleans a reasonable one if they believe he'll only continue to get better. Meanwhile, my point stands: if you've got male offspring and you're not Earl Woods-ing them into becoming a kicker or punter, well, you're doing it wrong.
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