What was the greatest free agent acquisition in NFL history? Reggie White was definitely one of them, but as a Saints fan it’s Drew Brees and nothing else comes close. In his last game as a Charger, a game against Denver in 2005, when a fluke accident shredded his throwing shoulder. New Orleans was in their own hell of a Katrina ravaged 3-13 season. After a token offer by the Chargers, the Dolphins and Saints were vying for the ex Boilermakers’ services. Nick Saban was the head coach at Miami and had the first dinner meeting. The day after the Miami medical staff put Drew through six hours of evaluation. They concluded he had a 25% chance of a full recovery. I guess X Rays and MRIs can’t measure heart or will, huh?
Had he went to Miami, Saban would probably still be there instead of dominating the SEC and my LSU Tigers. Fate and the city of New Orleans had something else in mind. After seeing the devastated area, I think he and his wife Brittany, felt a deeper purpose than just football. The truth of the Saints is they are not just the cities team, they are a regions team. From East Texas to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and beyond Who Dats are legion. On March 14, 2006 Drew signed with the Saints, and that year led the team to it’s first championship appearance. Nick Saban, some say, was heard frequently saying “We should have got that guy!” sorry Nick you can’t have everything.
Some time later Dr James Andrews said the Brees recovery was one of the most extraordinary he has ever seen. As we know you never count number 9 out. Thank you Miami, at least you salvaged the situation by getting Dante Culpeper. By 2007 Saban was in Alabama, Dante was gone and the Dolphins with Cam Cameron’s offensive genius went 1-15! So the Reggie White, Peyton Manning and Primetime signings were all huge, the Brees signing was more than just football, it was hope. The most glorious things are born from this feeling and nothing worthwhile comes easy, even in the Big Easy.