Jets solidify special teams unit, re-signing P Thomas Morstead

The New York Jets are re-signing one of their most valuable players from the 2023 season, agreeing to a new deal with punter Thomas Morstead, and solidifying their special teams unit in the process.

Morstead spent most of his career with New Orleans, but rejoined the Jets for the 2023 season where he was a field-tilter for them. Due to the Jets’ lack luster offense, Morstead led the NFL in punt attempts with 99, but as much as a punter can, he made an impact with those opportunities.

The 48.8 yards per punt that Morstead averaged ranked 10th in the NFL. Out of his 99 attempts, only eight ended up as touchbacks, while he also ranked second in punts inside the 20 yard line—two of which played a key role in the defense recording a safety.

Oftentimes the play of the punter can go unnoticed, but a really good punter benefits both the offense and the defense. Morstead’s ability to pin opposing offenses deep forces the opponent to have to drive the length of the field, often stringing together 10-plus play drives to do so, which is not an easy feat to consistently accomplish in the NFL.

However, if the defense is able to get a quick stop, the Jets’ offense then benefits from good starting field position since the opponent is punting from deep in their own territory.

“You force a team to have to drive the field that far, more likely than not they’re not gonna score,” D.J. Reed said via the New York Post. “And then, they’re not getting past our 50, so when they have to punt, we’re gonna be inside plus territory for ourself to score a field goal or touchdown.”

Morstead was a key contributor to a Jets’ special teams unit that ranked third in the NFL last season in Rick Gosselin’s annual rankings.

The contract specifics have not yet been reported but what we do know is that Morstead will earn north of $5 million over the two-year deal. At around $2.5 million per year, that will make Morstead the eighth highest paid punter in 2024 by average annual value.

With Morstead back in the fold, along with also re-signing kicker Greg Zuerlein, who was one of the most steady kickers in football last season, the Jets are again positioned well to have one of the better special teams units in football this season.

“He’s one of those things that when you have a great one, it’s like, ‘Wow,’ said Garrett Wilson via the NY Post. “All of a sudden, you’re getting the ball on the 50, plus-50, whatever it may be. When you don’t have one, you feel it. Those type of things can go by the wayside, but we’re making sure we don’t take that for granted, man. In this league, any edge you can get is an edge, and he’s a weapon, bro.”

Story originally appeared on Jets Wire