The 2017 regular season starts on September 11 for the New Orleans Saints, who begin this year's campaign on a Monday night. The Saints will travel north, to Minneapolis, MN to take on the Minnesota Vikings.
Canal Street Chronicles continues our Countdown to Kickoff series, today by looking back at some of the Saints players that have worn the No. 38.
Tony Baker (FB, 1968-1971)
Baker's first year with the Saints was only the team's second year in existence. After playing in only one game his rookie year, Baker had a breakout performance in his sophomore campaign. Baker's 642 yards rushing ranked second on the team, and his 34 receptions for 352 yards led Saints running backs. He teamed with fellow running back Andy Livingston and wideout Danny Abramowicz to make the Pro Bowl that season, the first Saints offensive players to accomplish the feat. Baker's statistics dropped after the '69 season, and he left New Orleans during the 1971 season for the Philadelphia Eagles. He would play for the Eagles, Rams, and Chargers before the end of his career in 1975. Tragically, Baker died in a car accident in 1998 at the age of 53.
Bill Butler (RB, 1972-1974)
Butler played three seasons for the Saints, his only professional team. He finished second on the team in rushing in both of his first two years, and led all Saints running backs in receiving yards during the 1972 season.
George Rogers (RB, 1981-1984)
Rogers was made the 1st overall draft choice in 1981 by New Orleans, and he went on to have one of the better rookie seasons of any running back in NFL history. His 378 carries led the league, and not only did his 1,674 rushing yards pace the NFL, but set a league record for rookies (until broken by the Rams' Eric Dickerson in 1984), and still stands as the Saints team record to this day. Rogers made not only the NFL All-Rookie team, but was also first team All-Pro. He made the Pro Bowl again in the strike shortened 1982 season, when he led the Saints in rushing yards despite being limited to six games.
Rogers bounced back to another 1,000-yard rushing season again in 1983, as the Saints narrowly missed a playoff berth. Rogers was traded to the Washington Redskins after a 914-yard rushing effort in 1984. The Saints received a 1st round pick from Washington in exchange for Rogers, who would play his final 3 seasons as a Redskin, rushing for over 1,000 yards two more times, and winning Super Bowl XXII with Washington. Rogers' 4,267 career yards rushing with New Orleans currently ranks 2nd in franchise history, and in 1992 he was elected to the Saints Hall of Fame.
Travaris Cadet (RB, 2015-current)
Cadet made an earlier appearance on our countdown at No. 39, the number he wore during his first three years in the league with New Orleans. After spending time with both the Patriots and 49ers during 2015, Cadet rejoined the Saints towards the end of that season, this time wearing No. 38, and will enter the 2017 training camp in his third year with the number. His 40 receptions for 281 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2016 were second among Saints running backs. Although a trusted check-down option for quarterback Drew Brees, Cadet will be pushed hard for a roster spot in 2017 by 2nd year back Daniel Lasco and dynamic rookie 3rd round draft pick Alvin Kamara.
Other Saints players to wear No. 38: Phil Vandersea (1967), Calvin Nicholson (1989-91), Othello Henderson (1993), Donovan Greer (1997), Usama Young (2007), Rod Sweeting (2013), Jamarca Sanford (2014), Kenny Phillips (2015)
Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 38?
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