Jets | Replacing Morton- posted at KFFL (http://nfl.kffl.com)
April 8, 2003 4:29:55 PT Updating previous reports, Randy Lange for the Bergen Record reports the New York Jets might try RB LaMont Jordan and WR Jonathan Carter at kick returner to replace Chad Morton. The team also might look to one of its nine draft picks to select a returner.
Looks like a contigency plan has begun. It's going to be nice to see Morton laid on his back in week 1. [LOSER]
The Redskins' offer of a five-year, $7.95 million deal included a clause that the final two years of the contract could be void if Morton achieved certain performance levels with the offense. The clause, which creates a big salary cap hit after three years, was inserted by the Redskins to dissuade the Jets from matching the offer. The Jets did not include the clause in their matching offer to Morton after the N.F.L.'s Management Council told them the clause was not a "principal term" of the contract and did not have to be matched.
Morton was said to be unhappy the Jets matched the offer because he wanted an expanded offensive role and was skeptical about the Jets' promise to get him the ball more as a third-down back - especially playing in the same backfield with Curtis Martin and Jordan. Morton and his agent, Leigh Steinberg, filed a grievance with the N.F.L. Players Association. The arbitrator, a Redskins season-ticket holder, heard the case last Thursday.
"We are disappointed in the arbitrator's decision," Bradway said in a statement. "Based on the N.F.L. 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."
Even people with knowledge of the union's argument did not expect Morton would be awarded to the Redskins. The management council has long advised clubs that voidable years are not principal terms of offers, but a case had never reached an arbitrator.
"We are extremely disappointed that arbitrator Richard Bloch ignored key provisions of the collective bargaining agreement and the clear intent of the Jets to match the Redskins' offer," Dennis Curran, the N.F.L. Management Council senior vice president and general counsel, said. "The arbitrator's opinion states that the club 'acted at its peril in assuming the clause here in question was not a principal term.' By awarding the player to the Redskins, Bloch clearly exceeded his authority under the CBA."
But according to a person with knowledge of the hearing, the Jets' loss may have also hinged on a technicality and the failure to write a letter.
The union's lawyers argued that the Jets did not properly attach the contract to the offer sheet, which they are required to do when matching an offer sheet. Further, the Jets could have buttressed their rights to match the offer by sending a note to Morton and Steinberg declaring their intention to match all material provisions of the offer sheet, no matter what they were. The Jets did not do that either.
"It's pretty stunning," Steinberg said. "It's unbelievable really. The chances that the Jets were going to lose this hearing were astronomically the other way."
So Snyder got his hands in the arbitration as well. I hope he chokes on his lump crabs opening day!
Here is a pure fantasy. I can see us drafting Boss Bailey and granted he misses tackles because his speed and athletic ability puts him in position to make an exorbitant amount of plays. Anyway, I can see a swing pass going out to Morton and Coles is his lead blocker. Here comes Bailey and takes out both players and to add icing on the cake, both players are laid out right on top of Danny Boy Snyder.
the voidable years shouldn't have been a sticking point for the FO anyway, they last 2 years were voidable by Morton only only only if he participated in at least 10% of the offensive plays in any of the first three years of the deal, this is something taht wasn't going to happen in NY anyway so why not match that if they really wanted him back, if it wasn't going to happen then why be scared off by it???
I mentioned in another post. Both sides of the table have to come together and agree on an aribtrator before the hearing can commence. If the Jets had any control of that then they didn't do their homework. My thinking is that this fact didn't come up until after the ruling.....speaking of which....we need the article that states he is a foreskin ticket holder...I've yet to see it.
April 8, 2003 -- In a sudden development that was as shocking as it was disturbing, the Jets yesterday lost Chad Morton, one of their key role players, to the Redskins after a ruling by an arbitrator who, The Post has learned, is a Redskins season ticket holder.
The bad blood between the Jets and Redskins reached an utter boil yesterday when arbitrator Richard Bloch awarded Morton, the NFL's second-leading kick returner in 2002, to the Redskins.
The stunning ruling was based on Bloch's decision that the Jets didn't properly match the five-year, $7.95 million restricted free-agent offer sheet to Morton, failing to match a "voidable" years clause in the contract.
And, raising serious questions about the integrity of Bloch, The Post learned last night from highly-placed NFL sources that Bloch is a Redskins season ticket holder, clearly leaving you to wonder about his intentions.
Making matters even more insulting to the Jets was the gaudy reaction of Redskins' owner Daniel Snyder, who's already signed restricted free agent WR Laveranues Coles away from the Jets thanks to a ludicrous $13M signing bonus, RG Randy Thomas, who was given $7M to sign, and K John Hall.
"Chad Morton is going to look great playing in burgundy and gold," Snyder chirped to ESPN.com yesterday from Washington. "And, I want to see how the Jets spin this one now."
The Jets' only reaction was "disappointment" about the ruling, according to GM Terry Bradway, who noted that the team will receive as compensation a fifth-round draft pick from the Redskins in this month's draft, giving the Jets a total of nine picks.
"We are extremely disappointed that [Bloch] ignored key provisions of the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) and the clear intent of the Jets to match the Redskins' offer," Dennis Curran, the NFL Management Council senior VP, said yesterday. "By awarding the player to the Redskins, Bloch clearly exceeded his authority under the CBA."
The Jets, however, cannot appeal.
Before they matched the Redskins' offer sheet, the Jets sought counsel from the NFL's Management Council on whether they had to deal with the voidable years portion at the end of the contract and were told that the voidable years did not represent a "principal term" of the offer and did not have to be matched.
So, when the Jets opted to match the offer, on March 20, they did so without matching on the voidable years. Morton and his agent, Leigh Steinberg, quickly filed a grievance through the NFL Players Association, declaring the Jets had not fully matched the offer.
Everyone involved, including Steinberg, believed the most likely scenario after the arbitrator's ruling would be that Morton remain with the Jets, who would have to include the voidable years on the contract.
But Bloch, who listened to the 90-minute case last Thursday, upheld the contention of Morton, who hasn't been participating in the Jets' offseason program since it began last week, and the NFL Players Association that the Jets were wrong in not matching the two voidable seasons at the end of the five-year offer sheet.
The offer sheet was written up with the final two years voidable by Morton as long as he plays at least 10 percent of the offensive snaps in any of the first three years of the contract.
That clause was placed in the offer to help deter the Jets from matching the offer, because, if Morton were to void the contract after three years, the Jets would be hit with the final $1 million of his signing bonus on the salary cap in the fourth year with Morton not even on the team.
I don't blame Morton for leaving, the guy just wants to play. If I was in the same position he was in I would want to leave too. Who wants to be a thrid string back when you can be 2nd to 1st string? It's not right to bad mouth Morton for wanting to leave New York.
Morton was a great special teams player for us last season without a doubt--and I think we got screwed by the league on this one--On the bright side though if we use a majority of our draft picks on beefing up the D--then whoever we have returning the kick-offs should be returning a lot less kick-offs---know what I mean.
When you put it like that, being Canidate's back-up would probably get him on the field for that 10% of offensive downs when you think about it. So the Redskins are either pretty confident that Morton wont do the same to them in three years, or they have lied their asses off!
Ah, who cares - he's gone and we've got nine chances at securing a decent young core of players in the draft.
Fine by me... rather that than an over-paid punt returner with an ego.