New Orleans Saints: 30 greatest players in franchise history

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Joe Johnson, New Orleans Saints
Vincent Laforet /Allsport /

player. 15. . Defensive End. 1994-2001. Joe Johnson. 28

As you’ll start to see, there have been plenty of outstanding defensive ends to come through New Orleans over the years. Some better than others obviously, but all offering their own unique flavor to spice up what has been a vibrant history for this NFL franchise.

Joe Johnson was no exception. An impact pass rusher for the Saints during the late 1990s and early 2000s, the defensive end had a knack for keeping opposing quarterbacks on their heels. Currently ranked seventh all-time in sacks among New Orleans defenders, Johnson was never shy about making life difficult for opposing signal callers.

On top of his production on the stat sheet, Johnson holds a unique advantage over some of the other defensive ends who were vying for a spot in the top-30. In 2000, Johnson won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award after missing the entire 1999 season with a knee injury. That year, he helped the Saints to their first playoff win in franchise history.

With 50.5 sacks (including a career-high 12 in 2000), two Pro Bowl appearances and a postseason victory under his belt, Johnson seems more than worthy of this early spot on the list.

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