It is not every day that your team signs a franchise quarterback who will go on to break several NFL records. For the Saints, it was a Hall of Fame journey with Drew Brees.
Drew Brees was drafted by the San Diego Chargers No. 32 overall in the 2001 NFL Draft. After spending five years in San Diego, Brees was let walk in free agency. That is where the New Orleans Saints met the man who would change their franchise.
After signing a 6-year, $60 million contract in 2006, Drew Brees immediately went to work in New Orleans. The black and gold also signed first-year head coach Sean Payton in the same year. They would be a future coach-quarterback duo for over a decade.
Brees ended up being a Pro Bowler in his first year with the franchise. In 2007, the Saints missed the playoffs. This was all in preparation for the best single-season in New Orleans Saints history two years later.
2009 brought all the hope to New Orleans. After finishing 13-3, the Saints went to the playoffs. They pushed all the way to the Super Bowl where they beat the Indianapolis Colts. Brees won the Super Bowl MVP that year as well.
He never won another Super Bowl, but Brees did go on to play another 11 years in New Orleans. During his career in Louisiana, Brees won one first-team All-Pros, 13 Pro-Bowls, the 2004 comeback player of the year award, and two offensive players of the year awards.
On top of that, he also won the Walton Payton Man of the Year in 2006; the Art Rooney award in 2008; the Bert Bell award in 2009; and the Bart Starr award in 2011. That is just a small portion of the amazing career of Drew Brees.
Brees also holds over a dozen NFL records including most career passing yards, most career passing completions, highest single-season completion percentage, most completions in a season, most consecutive games with a touchdown, and most 5,000 yard passing seasons.
Again, that was just a small sample size. It is impossible to put into words the impact that Brees has made not only on the organization but also on the city. He will go down into the NFL Hall of Fame, but he will never be forgotten in the city of New Orleans.
Also, it should be noted that Brees hasn’t actually called it quits and left the conversation open-ended following his post-game press conference. Brees will be missed (if he does call it a career). That said, finding his successor will be no easy task for the Saints.