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XLIV 5 Years Later: The Future of Thomas Morstead

Five years after the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV, only eight players remain from that championship team. Here we look at the future of one of those players, Thomas Morstead.

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On February 7, 2010 in Super Bowl XLIV, New Orleans Saints punter/kickoff specialist Thomas Morstead flawlessly executed one of the gutsiest and most iconic plays in Super Bowl history.  "Ambush", as it is famously known, was the onside kick performed by Morstead to open the second half of Super Bowl XLIV.  If executed correctly, it was intended to take a possession away from the dangerous Indianapolis Colts offense led by Peyton Manning.  Of course, if not executed to perfection "Ambush" could seriously damage the Saints hopes of making a comeback in the game, by giving Manning and the Colts a short field and momentum to start the second half, with the Saints already trailing 10-6.  Thankfully, Morsted's execution of the onside kick was flawless, and thanks to a timely flub by Indy's Hank Baskett-Wilkinson, the Saints took possession, and shortly after, the lead.

2009 was Thomas Morstead's rookie season, he was drafted  in the 5th round of that year's NFL Draft.  Morstead's play on the field and activity on the community has made him a favorite among fans.  He has lived up to his draft selection and more, having not only becoming one of the NFL's better punters, but also using his booming leg to handle kickoff duties for the Saints.  Morstead earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2012, and earlier that year he signed a six-year contract extension, making him the third highest paid punter in the NFL.  Morstead is scheduled to make $2.3 million in 2015, $3 million in 2016, $3.1 million in 2017, and $3.5 million in 2018.  Morstead was named the Saints' special teams captain prior to the 2014 season.

Morstead's contributions to the 2009 Saints season and subsequent Super Bowl XLIV title are enormous, yet overlooked.  There may be more affordable options out there for punters, but Morstead is a keeper.  For "Ambush" alone, Morstead may very well end up in the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.  His exceptional special teams play puts the rest of the team in better positions to win the game on a weekly basis.  Anyone who has the stones to perfectly execute an onside kick to start the second half of the Super Bowl in his rookie season is the type of player Sean Payton and Saints fans want on this team going forward.