On February 7, 2010 in Super Bowl XLIV, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston led all Saints receivers with 7 receptions for 83 yards, including the team's longest reception of 27 yards. This came as no surprise considering Colston led the Saints in receiving yards during the 2009 season with 1074 yards. That season, he had 9 touchdown receptions and averaged 15 yards per catch with 67 yards per game. Colston, despite being paired with a versatile and talented receiving corps, was clearly the #1 target.
Marques Colston has really been the #1 wide receiver for the Saints from this first year to this very day. The story is very well known to Saints fans, Colston is regarded as one of the great late round steals of the Mickey Loomis era in New Orleans. It was thought that Colston was more of a tight end prospect in the NFL due to his size and lack of top-end speed. The Saints took a chance on Colston as a wide receiver and drafted him in 7th round out of Hofstra, four picks from being "Mr. Irrelevant". The pick was a masterstroke of genius in hindsight, but the credit should go to Colston for not only being a consistent performer, but also for being a consummate professional.
Colston's contributions to the 2009 Saints season and subsequent Super Bowl XLIV title are considerable. He led arguably the most dynamic receiving corps in the NFL and has outperformed expectations by leaps and bounds. While Colston has never been selected to a Pro Bowl, there is absolutely no doubt how enormous his impact has been on the organization, and he is a lock for the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame. His accomplishments speak for themselves, as he is the franchise's all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.
The only negatives to speak of regarding Colston are his age and salary. By the time the season starts, Colston will be 32 and entering his 10th NFL season. As with anyone at his age and stage of his career, Colston showed signs of decline in 2014 and has some fans questioning him going forward with the team. As for his salary, in 2012 Colston signed a 5 year deal that was heavily loaded on the back end. For 2015, Colston is scheduled to make $6.9 million and for 2016, he is due to make $7.7 million. These are astounding figures and this deal will absolutely need to be re-negotiated to keep Colston a Saint.
Despite his age and decline in comparison to his peak, I think it is crucial to keep Marques Colston on the Saints receiving corps. His stature and leadership outweigh any diminishing returns in his skill set. With a young receiving corps, that is likely to get younger, Colston will need to be there to ease the transition, not only for the other receivers, but for Drew Brees, who has connected with Colston for a decade now. Colston may no longer be the #1 receiver on the roster, but there is absolutely a place for him on this team still. His skills have not nearly diminished to the point of having no value, Colston can still deliver. If the contract can be corrected in the Saints' favor, Colston must absolutely return for a 10th season in Black and Gold.