The 10 biggest what-ifs in New Orleans Saints history

• Nick Saban might not have gone to Alabama if he had Drew Brees

• Sean Payton was nearly replaced by a legend

• What if Marcus Williams stopped the Minneapolis Miracle?

New Orleans Saints
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2. What if Drew Brees signed in Miami?

Before turning to Drew Brees, Sean Payton tried unsuccessfully to land Tony Romo. In the end, everything worked out beautifully for the coach, the quarterback, and the team. But it wasn't just Payton that had a different path in mind originally — Brees actually nearly signed with another team before the Saints.

Nick Saban had just taken over the Miami Dolphins and was in need of a franchise quarterback. His choice was Brees and he was doing all he could to land him. That didn't happen and they instead signed Daunte Culpepper.

The reason was that team doctors weren't convinced Brees would fully recover from the shoulder injury he suffered at the end of his tenure with the San Diego Chargers. They did, however, believe Culpepper would bounce back from a significant knee injury which led to his departure from the Minnesota Vikings.

Hindsight is always 20/20 and we can look back now and see what a bad move this was. Brees went on to become one of the most prolific passers of all-time and Culpepper started four games for Miami and was a shell of the player we saw in Minnesota.

But what if Brees signed with Miami?

Well, if that happened, a lot would look different and the ripple effect would extend beyond pro football. Not only would Brees have never had the career we saw in New Orleans but the Alabama football team might never have become a dynasty.

It's often said Saban failed in the NFL and went back to college but the truth is, the NFL failed him. Saban was right about Brees and if he had his guy, he would have been a success. Instead, he was overruled and the decision was an epic failure.

Eventually, he grew tired of the NFL and went to Alabama where he could have full control of the roster again — and he became a legend in Tuscaloosa because of it.