The Saints released Morstead on Thursday, John DeShazier of the team's official site reports.
Morstead became the most accomplished punter in franchise history over the course of his 12 years with the Saints. He'll be best remembered for his performance as a rookie in Super Bowl XLIV, when he opened the second half with a successful onside kick. The 34-year-old will be free to immediately begin searching for another landing spot, if he decides to continue his football career.
Morstead punted three times and averaged 47.7 yards per attempt during Friday's preseason game against the Cardinals.
Morstead was on his game Friday and already looks to be in midseason form. The highlight of his night was a booming 54-yard punt that particularly suggested Morstead is fully recovered from the fractured ribs he sustained in the Saints' divisional-round loss to the Vikings this past January.
Morstead (ribs) signed a five-year extension with the Saints on Friday, Joel A. Erickson of the New Orleans Advocate reports.
Morstead was entering the final year of his previous contract with New Orleans and his extension likely lowers the $4.9 million charge he was set to count against the team's cap in 2018. At the same time, team management also locked up one of the best punters in the game for the foreseeable future. However, it isn't clear where Morstead stands in his recovery from torn cartilage in his ribs -- an injury he played through during the Saints' most recent playoff run.
Morstead played through torn cartilage in his ribs during Sunday's 29-24 divisional-round loss to the Vikings, Josh Katzenstein of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Morstead suffered the injury in the first quarter after tackling Vikings return man Marcus Sherels. The punter was in visible pain the rest of the way, but after receiving an anesthetic, he wasn't forced to exit early and even contributed two kicks that traveled 56 and 54 yards. Though he'll be forced to spent the next 4-to-6 weeks rehabbing the injury, Morstead was fortunate to avoid any fractures to his ribs, which likely would have required a lengthier recovery timetable.