The man who kicked AMBUSH in Super Bowl 44 is no longer a member of the New Orleans Saints organization. After 12 seasons, the Saints decided to release longtime punter Thomas Morstead from his contract. It was a business decision by New Orleans' front office while stressed by its cap situation. Morstead was battling back and eye injuries during the 2020 season. He told reporters those ailments hampered the early part of the season before becoming more consistent as 2020 progressed.
New Orleans had a consummate professional in Morstead. He was a consistent punter. Rare in today's NFL.
Morstead said his "teammates knew that they can count on me." and he"set out to be "elitely" consistent."
The price of being so good and talented often leads professionals into becoming cap casualties, mostly on talented teams like the Saints.
Thomas Morstead is by far the best punter in New Orleans Saints history. For the past year, he has tutored the rookie Blake Gillikin in the art of punting. He has been a rock and reassuring companion for his special team's partner and friend, kicker Wil Lutz.
For the Who Dat Nation and City of New Orleans, Morstead is much more than just a punter; he's a pillar of the community. Thomas and his wife Lauren's "What You Give Will Grow" foundation has given over $2.5 million to children battling cancer in New Orleans and the surrounding area. Morstead remarked that his family would remain to raise their four children in New Orleans. In reflecting on the people of New Orleans, he shared he's "overwhelmed with positive, thankful energy."
He will be missed in the Saints' locker room and sidelines, where he patrolled for 12 seasons. Morstead is an elite punter. A special team's ace, captain, and Pro-Bowler never was voted as an All-Pro. Unfortunate, because several seasons, he rightly deserved the honor.
Sean Payton and his team knew they could trust him. Think about it, as a rookie, Payton entrusted him with one of the gutsiest calls in Super Bowl history.
New Orleans and Saints fans owe Morstead a debt of gratitude. In all of his 692 punts for 32,190 yards (46.5 yards/punt) and 538 kickoffs for 35,048 yards (48.1% touchbacks), no kickoff was more significant than Ambush in Super Bowl 44. That one kick changed the contest's momentum and was the catalyst for the New Orleans Saints in their first Super Bowl win. His execution was flawless.
Today, Morstead and his wife said their farewells to the organization. But, I am sure, it won't be farewell to the NFL.