It’s been an emotional offseason for the Saints’ Thomas Morstead

If he dwells on it, it saddens punter Thomas Morstead that he was only one of six players on the Saints roster as of Monday who won Super Bowl XLIV at the end of the 2009 season.

That’s a lot of friends who have had to pack up and move on with their wives, girlfriends and children while he’s stayed behind, in hopes of helping New Orleans win a second championship.

But the good news for Morstead is there’s not much time to ponder such things. A little more than five months away from his sixth season in the pros, he’s about to welcome his first child with his wife, Lauren, and he’s trying to turn a charity initiative he launched in 2012 into a full-fledged nonprofit corporation.

“The NFL is a strange place — it really is,” Morstead said Monday. “It’s an amazing place, and it’s special. ... (But) you’re going to get constant reminders of how quickly you can be gone.”

Morstead can’t recall an offseason when there has been more reminders. Since late last season, the Saints have parted ways with more than a half-dozen players who had significant roles in New Orleans’ Super Bowl victory.

They traded one player (running back Darren Sproles) and allowed another (fullback Jed Collins) to leave in free agency who each formed part of an offense that set an NFL record for yards gained in 2011.

Each of the departures prompted Morstead to recall the adage that “NFL” stands for “not for long.” But it was especially difficult for him to see Collins sign on with Detroit in free agency.

“He’s a really close friend of mine. His wife is awesome and she’s good friends with my wife, so we’ve done a lot of things together,” said Morstead, also a kickoff specialist. “For me, seeing him leave was the hardest probably.”

But life in New Orleans will go on for Morstead after he set an NFL record for touchbacks in 2011 (68), delivered a Pro Bowl season in 2012 and placed third in net punting yardage average (42.3) in 2013, when the Saints made it to the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.

It’s impossible to discuss Morstead and not mention that he booted “Ambush,” the successful and legendary onside kick at the beginning of the second half of Super Bowl XLIV. But, between now and when the Saints’ preparations for the 2014 campaign ramp up, he’s focused on a pair of ventures that he dreams will surpass the play that immortalized him in New Orleans sports lore.

For one of those, he’s exploring transforming his popular “What You Give Will Grow” initiative — dedicated to fighting cancer and aiding children — from a donor-controlled fund with the Greater New Orleans Foundation into a group with its own 501(c)(3) designation. That would permit “What You Give Will Grow” to access a wider range of grants and fundraising opportunities as it supports cancer research and hosts activities like birthday parties for New Orleans-area children in foster care.

To that end, Morstead on Monday held a news conference at the Uptown music venue Gasa Gasa and announced “What You Give Will Grow” had partnered with 52businesses, a recently launched initiative whose mission is to start 52 businesses and nonprofits in a year to demonstrate that entrepreneurial and charitable undertakings may not be as difficult to establish as they’d seem.

Morstead and 52businesses for a week will seek donations of money, time and resources from folks who provide legal, accounting and other services, with the goal of covering a year’s worth of operational costs for “What You Give Will Grow.”

The Pro Bowl punter will make a series of public appearances where potential donors can meet him. Times, locations and other information are supposed to be posted daily at the website whatyougivewillgrow.com, but Morstead said Monday he’d commandeer a stage at the Freret Street Festival about 5 p.m. Saturday.

“Thomas’ heart is in the right place,” 52businesses’ Jason Seidman remarked. “He (can) start this foundation.”

Yet what’s foremost on Morstead’s mind is the child he and his wife are expecting in late April. The couple won’t know if it’s a boy or girl until birth, but Morstead sounded certain fatherhood “is going to be the best thing in the world.”

“Being in charge of another life is pretty motivating,” he said. “I’m just excited to be a dad, raise a kid here and hopefully be here for a long time.”