The Jets may have answered their need for a punt returner Thursday afternoon, when they traded cornerback Earthwind Moreland and a 2002 sixth-round draft pick to New Orleans for running back/returner Chad Morton, who gained 1,656 all-purpose yards as a rookie last season.
Morton, 24, averaged 9.3 yards per punt return and 23.4 yards per kick return last year but was squeezed out of the picture in New Orleans when the Saints drafted Deuce McAllister. Moreland, 24, played in just one game as a rookie for the Jets last year. His departure came hours after coach Herman Edwards classified cornerback as one of the most heavily-contested positions this summer.
KITCHINGS COOKING: Wide receiver Desmond Kitchings, battling for the last backup spot, made the final two grabs of the morning session—a nice leaping catch over the middle and a sparkling catch in which he beat Ray Mickens, snagged the ball with one hand, bobbled it and cradled it one-handed for a touchdown. "It's down to the wire," Kitchings said. "I'm just trying to go into this game on Saturday and do the best that I can to make a lasting impression."
FERGUSON'S SURGERY DELAYED?: Jason Ferguson was scheduled to have season-ending surgery on his right rotator cuff Friday, but that may be pushed back because Ferguson has returned home to be with his wife, who is enduring a difficult pregnancy. When he comes back to Long Island, Edwards said he will have the surgery performed by the Jets doctors and not renowned shoulder surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
JUMBO IN NO RUSH: Edwards said the Jets have remained in touch with tackle Jumbo Elliott and that he expects things are "…going to work out good for" Elliott, who is expected to be re-signed by the club before the season opener Sept. 9. With a grin, Edwards said "He's just enjoying it right now, not having to go to training camp, which is smart. If I was him, I wouldn't go through training camp either, He doesn't need to sleep in another dorm room."
SIGHT OF THE DAY: The "Hofstra Computer Summer Camp" hung two signs on the door of a classroom in the lobby of the Jets' dining hall—one which read "Hofstra's Joe Todd: We spent the morning searching the Internet for your picture. The morning class gave up!" and the second of which read "Go Joe Go."