Ever since the New Orleans Saints officially became a professional football team in 1967, they’ve had a multitude of players who impacted the franchise as well as the entire league itself. In this series of articles, I’m going to piece together a team of the Saints’ top playmakers throughout their historical past and their successful present. Time to start with the most critical position on Any NFL team, the quarterback.
The year is 2006. The city of New Orleans is still recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans Saints spent the entire 2005 season playing games away from the Superdome.
The city and the team are both looking for a bright light of hope. In San Diego, the Chargers decided to give their quarterback, Drew Brees, his walking papers after suffering a devastating shoulder injury. Like New Orleans and their beloved Saints, Brees also was in search of hope. Thus the perfect marriage occurred.
Brees signed a 6-year, $60 million deal with the New Orleans Saints on March 14, 2006, and together with the newly hired head coach, Sean Payton, Brees began his quest to prove his doubters wrong while becoming that ray of hope that the team’s fans desperately needed.
It didn’t take long for Brees to find his place in New Orleans. In his first season with the team, Brees threw for 4,418 yards, 26 touchdowns, and a 64.3 completion percentage while leading his team to the NFC championship game for the first time in franchise history. Although Brees and the team came up short in that game, the New Orleans Saints we’re glad to have found a quarterback who would soon become the best to play the position for the franchise and arguably the best in the history of the league.
Three years later in 2009, Brees and the Saints reached the highest goal in the NFL. After throwing for 4,388 yards, 34 touchdowns, and a 70.6 completion percentage in the regular season, Brees led the team to Super Bowl 44 after defeating the Arizona Cardinals and the Minnesota Vikings in the postseason. In the big game, Brees threw for 288 yards, two touchdowns, and 0 interceptions on his way to becoming the Super Bowl MVP.
In his twelve years with the team, Brees has thrown for over 58,000 yards and 408 touchdowns, both of which are franchise records. Brees currently holds the NFL record for career passing yards and is 2nd all-time for passing touchdowns. He has also been selected for ten pro bowls and has also been chosen as a first team all-pro in 2006.
At the age of 39, Brees started his thirteenth season with the Saints in 2018. Before week 17, he accumulated 3,992 yards and 32 touchdowns as well as another pro bowl nod. The Saints have secured the number one seed in the NFC thanks to Brees’ age-defying play. If the Saints can make their way to another Lombardi trophy, it may be hard to not include Brees in the greatest of all time conversation.
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