New Orleans Saints Owner Tom Benson announced Monday that kicker Morten Andersen will join the club's Ring of Honor in 2015.
Established in 2013, the New Orleans Saints Ring of Honor recognizes former players, administrators and individuals who have played a significant role both on-the-field and off-the-field in the franchise's history and is displayed prominently along the Mercedes-Benz Superdome's terrace Level fascia. Andersen will be honored in a halftime ceremony set for this upcoming season at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, joining LB Rickey Jackson, QB Archie Manning and T William Roaf, the ring's three inaugural members.
"We as an organization would like to honor Morten for his great career as a Saint with everything he did for us on the field as well as being an outstanding ambassador in our community," Benson said. "He made so many big kicks for us throughout his career and is a great addition to our Ring of Honor. Hopefully Morten's next honor after this will take place in Canton to join the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
"On behalf of the New Orleans Saints, I would like to congratulate Morten on being named to our club's Ring of Honor," Saints Head Coach Sean Payton said. "To kick 25 years in the NFL at such a high level and make so many game-winning kicks is a mark of elite consistency, reliability and mental toughness. I was in New York with him in 2001 and had the opportunity to see Morten firsthand in part of what was a Hall of Fame career."
"It's an honor to be included in the New Orleans Saints Ring of Honor," Andersen said. "I'm thankful for my 13 years with the team and want to express my gratitude to Mr. Benson and the entire organization for this recognition. I am thrilled to be joining Archie Manning, Rickey Jackson and Willie Roaf, men who played the game at the highest level and left an indelible mark on the Saints and the city of New Orleans. I would also like to thank all the Saints fans who made it so enjoyable to play here with their passion, energy and enthusiasm."
A native of Copenhagen, Denmark, Andersen, 6 feet 2, 218 pounds, was drafted in the fourth round by the Saints in 1982 out of Michigan State and spent 13 years in New Orleans (1982-94). He was named to six Pro Bowls as a member of the Saints (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1992). Only quarterback Drew Brees (eight) and Roaf (seven) have been selected to the Pro Bowl more often as Saints. Anderson led the Saints in scoring in 12 of his 13 seasons in New Orleans. He is the franchise's leader in games played (196), field goals (302), PATs (412) and scoring (1,318 points). Anderson made 77.6 percent of his field goal attempts (302 of 389) and scored at least 100 points nine times with New Orleans.
Overall in a 25-year career with five teams through the 2007 season, Andersen appeared in 382 games and is the NFL record holder for games played, points (2,544) and field goals (565). Overall, he converted 565-of-709 field goal attempts (79.7 percent) and 849-of-859 extra point attempts. Andersen's 40 field goals of 50-plus yards were the most in NFL history at the time of his retirement.
Andersen was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in both 2014 and 2015 and a semifinalist in his first year of eligibility in 2013. He received Associated Press first-team All-Pro recognition five times, four as a Saint, including twice with New Orleans in 1986 and 1987 as a first-team selection. In recognition of being one of the top kickers, he was a first-team member of both the 1980s and 1990s All-Decade Teams, as selected by members of the Hall of Fame selection committee. Andersen is also a member of the Saints Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
The New Orleans Saints Ring of Honor selection committee is comprised of team ownership, front office administrators, a team historian, former Saints players and selected members of the media. Further details about the ceremony will be announced at a later date.
Morten Andersen at Saints camp on Monday, August 3, 2015. Photos by Richard Crank.