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It's Official: Jets Match Offer To Morton


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From the jets' official website --

Morton will Return

Mar 13, 2003

Hempstead, NY – The New York Jets announced Thursday they have matched an offer sheet on running back/kick return specialist Chad Morton. The announcement was made by Jets General Manager Terry Bradway.

Morton, a 5-8, 186-pound product of the University of Southern California, will be entering his fourth season in the NFL and his third with the Jets. He broke into the NFL as a fifth round draft choice of the New Orleans Saints in 2000 and joined the Jets on August 31, 2001 in exchange for cornerback Earthwind Moreland and a 2002 sixth round draft choice, which New Orleans used to select Virginia Tech defensive end Derrius Monroe with the 224th selection overall. The trade marked the first trade for the Jets under the direction of Bradway.

During his three-year NFL career, Morton has played in 41 regular season games, including three starts and has accumulated 3,668 total yards from scrimmage. He has seen the majority of his time on special teams and has returned 114 kickoff returns for 2,785 yards for a 24.4 average. In 2002, Morton set a Jets’ Club record in both kickoff returns (58) and return yardage (1,509 yards) for a 26.0 average, which placed him second in the AFC and fourth overall in the NFL. Additionally, Morton stepped in to help out in the punt return department and chipped in with four returns for 51 yards, for a 12.8 average.

Morton’s biggest day as a professional athlete came in the Jets’ 37-31 overtime win at Buffalo on September 4, 2002 when he had two kickoff returns for touchdowns, including a 96-yard return on the first play of overtime. His other return was a 98-yard kickoff return, which is the third longest kickoff return in Club history. In addition to earning AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors, Morton became only the fifth player in NFL history and the first since the 1994 season to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game, and became just the second player in league history to open an overtime with a game-winning return (Dave Williams, Chicago vs. Detroit on November 27, 1980).

Morton has also appeared in five postseason games (three with the Jets (2001-2002) and two with the Saints in 2000) and has returned eight kicks for 287 yards for a 35.9 average with a long return of 70 yards vs. Indianapolis in the Jets’ 41-0 win at the Meadowlands on January 4, 2003.

Offensively, Morton has carried the ball 42 times for 144 yards for a 3.4 average and has caught 33 passes for 297 yards for a 9.0 average. In 2002 with the Jets, he had four carries for eight yards and three receptions for 19 yards.

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Originally posted by TerpSkin

Actually, gangreen, I believe the trade you were referring to was conditional on the Morton deal... but someone else around here could probably tell you with more certainty.

The trade actually was our 4th next year and swapping our 3rd this year for the Pats 3rd this year and their 5th this year.

So we traded a 4th next year for a Pats 5th this year, and lost 6 spots in the 3rd this year.

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I am glad the Jets matched this contract. I don't think a KR is worth a $2.5 million bonus unless he can contribute as a regular player on offense or defense, and that is something that Morton has not yet proven he can do.

With Lamont Jordan behind Curtis Martin it doesn't appear as if the Jets are going to get anything more than KR duties out of him.

In that regard I think they overpaid.

Brian Mitchell and Jermaine Lewis have been more productive over a longer period of time and are going to get far less in bonus money.

Morton is being paid for 2002 performance, now let's see him match that over the next few years as these other guys have been able to do :)

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