Two weeks after ending a length contract standoff with franchise quarterback Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints began securing pieces of the puzzle by signing punter/kickoff specialist Thomas Morstead to a reported six-year, $21.9 million extension, making him the second-highest paid punter in the league.
Morstead's deal does not necessarily mean the Saints are going to lock up all players who are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents next offseason, a list that includes defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis and left tackle Jermon Bushrod, the latter of whom has not heard from the team about an extension, according to Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune.
Bushrod, who turns 28 in August, has started 44 straight games (regular and postseason) and is coming off his first Pro Bowl season. Bushrod is due to earn $3.25 million in base salary and another trip to the Pro Bowl would result in a $150,000 incentive, as well as a larger contract. Pro Bowl left tackles tend to seek, and usually obtain, contracts averaging more than $7 million per season.
Bushrod is more focused on team goals than his contract.
"You want to continue to be rewarded for the hard work you put in," Bushrod said. "But this is not an individual game. This is a team game. I just want to continue to get better. If that happens, all that stuff will work itself out."