Morten Andersen says departure from the Saints helped his career

30 September 2007: Atlanta Falcons kicker Morten Andersen (5) in the Atlanta Falcons 26-16 victory over the Houston Texans at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Georgia.
Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire

Former NFL kicker Morten Andersen is still somewhat bitter about his departure from the New Orleans Saints 23 years ago, saying it was certainly not a pleasant experience, according to Jim Kleinpeter of The New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Andersen said it was “distasteful in many ways” when the Saints decided not to bring him back in 1994.

While he wouldn’t elucidate much on the subject, he did say that the decision was “salary cap related.”

Andersen, who is the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, spent 13 of his 25 seasons with New Orleans, but during his final year with the team, he missed 11 field goals.

The 56-year-old says leaving the Saints was good for his career.

“That’s an interesting question,” said Andersen when asked how he was able to improve after his time with the Saints. “I would say change. Change sometimes is healthy and understanding you just rent that locker, you don’t own it. Somebody else will come in and replace you if you’re not performing at a high level now. My situation in New Orleans was more salary cap related, a financial consideration I think. I know other reasons were given but really the bottom line was salary cap consideration.”

Andersen signed with the Atlanta Falcons for the following season and enjoyed what may have been the best season of his career, nailing 31 field goals (equaling a career high) and earning a Pro Bowl appearance and a First-Team All-Pro selection.

“There’s no question when you look at stats, numbers, change is sometimes very healthy for a player, although the separation from the Saints to the Falcons was very quick and abrupt and distasteful in many ways,” said Andersen. “I do think I refocused with renewed vigor and enthusiasm and passion for the game and continued to play at a very high level.”

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