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NFL Free Agency 2011: Steve Weatherford Leaves Jets For Giants

Former New York Jets punter Steve Weatherford did not have to travel far to find a new team to play for during the 2011 NFL season. Weatherford tweeted this afternoon that he will be joining the New York Giants, meaning he will only have to make his way to a different locker room at New Meadowlands Stadium, which the teams share.

Of his move to the Giants, Weatherford tweeted:

I’m on my way back to NYC but my helmet has changed. I’m excited to get the opportunity to help this prestigious franchise win a world title …

Very blessed to help carry on a prestigious tradition in the greatest city in the world. New York Football Giants!!! Go Blue!!!

He also had parting words for Jets fans:

To the Gang Green Nation: thank you for 2 beautiful years. I love you guys, but it’s time for me to move on.

Weatherford, a six-year veteran, will likely replace Matt Dodge. Dodge was wildly inconsistent as a rookie in 2010. He surrendered 536 return yards, second-worst in the league, and will always be remembered for kicking the ball to Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson on the final play of a game last season rather than kicking it out of bounds as instructed. That, of course, ended in disaster as Jackson returned the kick for a touchdown that cost the Giants a victory.

The Giants had been rumored to be looking for a new punter, and had been connected to veterans like Brad Maynard and Matt Turk.

In 2010, Pro Football Focus rated Weatherford among the top five kickers in the league with a +13.4 grade. Here is a comparison of Weatherford’s 2010 numbers to those of Dodge.

Weatherford has also kicked for New Orleans, Jacksonville and Kansas City during his career.