We are just 98 days away from the New Orleans Saints beginning their 2017 regular season with a Monday night showdown in Minnesota against the Vikings. Canal Street Chronicles will commemorate each day with a look into the 51-year-old past history of the black and gold. Today, we will take a brief look at some of the players who donned the number 98 under the fleur-de-lis during the regular season.
Player information courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
Willie Whitehead (DT, 1999-2006)
Whitehead actually began his career with the San Francisco 49ers in 1995 for a brief stint. After spending 2 years more successfully in the Canadian Football League in '96 and '97, and even a brief stint with NFL Europe, Whitehead found his way back onto an NFL roster with New Orleans. He started 43 out of 105 games played over his eight seasons with the team, and his 24.5 sacks were second among Saints during that timeframe.
Sedrick Ellis (DT, 2008-2012)
Ellis was the 7th overall pick in the first round by the Saints in 2008 out of USC. Ellis started 70 games over his five-year career as a Saint, had 12 sacks from his defensive tackle position, and was a starter for New Orleans in their Super Bowl 44 victory. Ellis' production dipped drastically over his final two years as a Saint, contributing only half a sack over that time, along with having his passion for the game often questioned. After signing a free agent contract with the Chicago Bears, Ellis abruptly retired prior to training camp in 2013.
Parys Haralson (LB, 2013-2014)
Haralson played his first 7 seasons as a linebacker for the 49ers, coming to New Orleans as a free agent prior to the 2013 season. Haralson played his final two seasons with the Saints, starting 20 games and contributing 6.5 sacks.
Sheldon Rankins (DT, 2016-present)
Rankins was the 12th overall pick from Louisville by the Saints in the 2016 draft. Rankins suffered a broken leg during preseason, and missed the first half of his rookie campaign. Upon his return, Rankins showed the potential to be a disruptive force from his defensive tackle position. He will be a key to the Saints defensive success in 2017.
Other players to wear No. 98: Renaldo Wynn (2007), Ron Warner (1998), Jim Hanna (1994), Milford Hodge (1986), Reggie Lewis (1982-84)
Who is your favorite Saints player to wear No. 98?
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