Jets lose Morton to Skins

Arbitrator Richard Bloch shocked the Jets, and many people around the NFL, by awarding running back Chad Morton to the Washington Redskins on Monday.

Remember, the Redskins signed Morton to an offer sheet last month, but the Jets matched it. However, the Jets left out the voidable year's clause in the contract. They did this after the NFL Management Council told them it was an illegal element of the deal, and they were not obligated to honor it.

So basically the Jets got screwed after doing what the NFL told them to do.

"We are disappointed in the arbitrator's decision," said Jets' General Manager Terry Bradway.  "Based on the NFL Management Council's opinion that so-called voidable years are not Principal Terms and need not be matched by a player's former team, we allowed the process to run its course.  As compensation, we have received the fifth pick in the fifth round of the upcoming draft. This gives us nine draft choices, and provides us with flexibility to enhance our positioning in the draft and gives us various options to improve our team." 

""We are extremely disappointed that Arbitrator Richard Bloch ignored key provisions of the CBA and the clear intent of the Jets to match the Redskins' offer," said Dennis Curran from the NFL Management Council. "Although an arbitrator had not previously ruled on this issue, we have long advised all clubs that so-called voidable years are not Principal Terms and need not be matched by a player's former team.  We believe the CBA permits clubs to match an Offer Sheet while at the same time reserving their right to challenge the voidable years provision as a non-principal term."

You have to question whether the NFL will ever use Bloch again. He clearly overstepped his bounds.

While Bloch seemingly made a "blockhead" decision, the Jets have nobody to blame but themselves. They should have just matched the offer sheet, and then challenged the clause. By sending it to binding arbitration, they were playing with fire.

Morton is ecstactic. He clearly wanted nothing to do with the Jets for two reasons. First off, they left out the voidable clause that he wanted. Secondly, the Redskins have guaranteed him more playing time than he would have received in New York.
It agitated Morton during his two years in New York that he hardly played at running back. While he enjoys returning kicks, his first love is running back He begged the Jets to play him more, but they never did.

When Redskins owner Dan Snyder offered him a five-year, $8 million deal and a chance to touch the ball 20 times a game, he jumped at it.

So what will the Jets do to replace Morton, who was arguably the NFL's best kick returner last year? Right now, the leading candidate for the job is speedy wideout Jon Carter, who they claimed off waivers last year from the Giants. Also expect them to draft a returner.  Players like Stanford's Ryan Wells, Mississippi's Jason Armstead or USC's Darrell Rideaux are possibilities. Rideaux is considered by many to be the best returner in the draft.

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