The 2017 regular season for the New Orleans Saints is just 39 days away. This season, the Saints start a day later than most of the rest of the league, with a Monday night tilt against the Minnesota Vikings. Canal Street Chronicles continues our look back through history, as we look at the Saints players that have worn the No. 39.
Brett Maxie (S, 1985-1993)
Maxie joined the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 1985. Although he didn't become a full-time starter until 1987, he was a part of a Saints defense that was building into one of the best units in the NFL. Consistently one of the secondary's top tacklers, Maxie also had 15 interceptions, 5 fumble recoveries, 3 sacks, a safety, and 3 defensive touchdowns over his nine year career in New Orleans. Maxie left the Saints after the 1993 season, playing with the Falcons, Panthers, and 49ers over the last 4 years of his pro career. He is currently a secondary coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Darren Perry (S, 2000)
Perry joined the Saints in 2000, his final NFL season, after a terrific seven-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His 3 interceptions were second on the team, and finished second among the Saints defensive backs in tackles. Perry's veteran leadership helped a New Orleans defense bounce back from a last place finish in the standings the year before, to an NFC West title in his only year with the team.
Curtis DeLoatch (CB, 2006)
DeLoatch played for three teams in his four NFL seasons, including 2006 with New Orleans, who had picked him up on waivers early into the season after being released by the New York Giants. His third game with the Saints was the first game back in New Orleans after the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. DeLoatch was a late substitution on the team's punt block unit, as opponent Atlanta lined up to kick the ball to the Saints just 1:30 into the game. Fellow reserve defensive back Steve Gleason famously blocked the Falcons punt attempt, which DeLoatch then recovered in the end zone for a Saints touchdown, in one of the most famous scores in franchise history.
Chris Reis (S, 2007-2010)
Reis played all four of his professional seasons in New Orleans. His career statistics include 1 interception, 1 fumble forced, and 1 quarterback sack. He started just 1 game, but was a fixture on the team's special team units. It was on special teams where he made his biggest career play, in the franchise's biggest game in history, Super Bowl XLIV. The play was nicknamed "Ambush", and it was a surprise onside kick by the Saints to begin the 2nd half. Reis' recovery of the kick led to a go ahead Saints touchdown, springboarding them to a 31-17 Super Bowl victory over the favored Indianapolis Colts.
Travaris Cadet (RB, 2012-2014)
Cadet has served two stints with the Saints, first joining the team as an undrafted free agent in 2012. From that season until his free agency departure after the 2014 season, Cadet wore number 39. He served mostly as the team's kickoff returner, averaging almost 25 yards per return with longs of 75 and 82 yards. Cadet also saw time as a backup running back and 3rd down specialist, more for his receiving abilities, in 2014 finishing second among Saints running backs with 38 receptions for 296 yards. After short free agency stays with the Patriots and 49ers in 2015, Cadet rejoined the Saints near the end of that season, this time wearing No. 38.
Brandon Browner (CB, 2015)
Browner is on this list because of the fury he incited from Saints fans during his only disastrous season with the team. A Pro Bowl caliber cornerback for 3 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and the "Legion of Boom", the Saints signed Browner to a free agent contract after one season with New England, where he won a Super Bowl title. What New Orleans got for their money was a player who will go down as one of the worst personnel moves made in franchise history. Browner was second on the team in passes defensed, and third in tackles, but that was where the good ended. The entire season was an astonishing amount of penalty flags, feuds with both the local media and members of the coaching staff, along with the constant sight of an opposing receiver breaking open down the field with Browner trailing yards behind. Thankfully, Brandon Browner lasted just one year as a New Orleans Saint, with the team releasing him after the 2015 season.
Other Saints players to wear No. 39: Ernie Wheelwright (1967-70), Odell Lawson (1973-74), Morris LaGrand (1975), Carl Lee (1994), Taveze Calhoun (2016-current)
Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 39?
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