The New Orleans Saints will open the 2017 regular season just 84 days from now against the Minnesota Vikings. To continue our celebration of New Orleans history, Canal Street Chronicles continues our countdown to kickoff with a look back at the Saints players that have worn the number 84.
Some player information courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
Eric Martin (WR, 1985-1993)
Martin was a hometown player from LSU selected by the Saints in the 7th round of the 1985 draft. He started 11 games as a rookie, leading the team with 4 touchdown receptions and almost instantly developed a chemistry with USFL-refugee quarterback Bobby Hebert when Hebert joined the team in the second half of that season.
Martin would go on to lead the Saints in receptions and receiving yards in 7 of the next 8 seasons. His 532 career receptions, 7,854 yards, and 18 career games of over 100 yards receiving are all second in franchise history. Martin left the Saints after the '93 season to play his final year with the Chiefs. Eric Martin was a unanimous selection to New Orleans' 45th Anniversary team, and was elected to the Saints Hall of Fame in 1999.
Michael Lewis (KR/PR, 2001-2006)
The "Beer Man" joined the Saints through unconventional methods. He did not attend college, and played for a number of different teams in semi-pro leagues and the Arena Football League. After a stint as a beer delivery man, New Orleans signed him to a contract towards the end of 2000 and allocated him to NFL Europe before becoming the Saints kick return specialist in 2001.
In 2002, Lewis earned NFL All-Pro honors due to his combined 3 kickoff/punt return touchdowns, an incredible 14.8 average per punt return, and an NFL record for combined kick/punt return yardage. He never fully recovered from a major knee injury suffered in 2005, and was unfortunately out of the league by 2007. Lewis was unanimously voted as the return specialist on the New Orleans 45th Anniversary team, and elected into the Saints Hall of Fame in 2015. He holds the Saints record for combined kick return yardage, and remains a team ambassador throughout the league.
Kenny Stills (WR, 2013-2014)
Stills joined the Saints as a 5th round draft choice from Oklahoma in 2013. He immediately proved himself to be one of the better deep threats in the entire league, averaging 20 yards per reception as a rookie and scoring 5 touchdowns on 641 yards receiving. His production increased in his second season, with 931 yards to lead the team, while his 63 receptions to finish second. Despite Stills' production, he was traded to Miami in the offseason of 2015, amid rumors of poor practice habits and locker room disruption.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui has worn No. 84 for the Saints since 2015. "Hooman" missed 2016 with injury, but looks to bring his superior blocking abilities and underrated receiving skills back into the Saints offense for 2017.
Other Saints players to wear the No. 84: Jimmy Hester (1967-69), Larry Estes (1970-71), Preston Riley (1973), Paul Seal (1974-76), Rich Mauti (1977-83), Junior Miller (1984), Steve Rhem (1994-95), Eric Guliford (1997-98), Scott Slutzker (1999), Austin Wheatley (2000), Tory Humphrey (2009-10).
Who is your favorite Saints player to wear No. 84?
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