Jets keep Morton
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).
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