The 2017 regular season begins tonight, as the defending champion New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs. The New Orleans Saints begin their season this Monday night, with a road contest against the Minnesota Vikings. That game is just 4 days from now, and Canal Street Chronicles continues our countdown to kickoff series by looking back at some of the Saints players who have worn the No. 4 throughout team history.
Steve Walsh (QB, 1990-1993)
Walsh began his career as a 1st round draft choice in the 1989 supplemental draft with the Dallas Cowboys. The Saints acquired him in an early season 1990 trade, in exchange for a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round draft choices. With incumbent starter Bobby Hebert mired in a contract holdout that would last all of the 1990 season, Walsh took over the reigns of starting quarterback and led New Orleans to only it's second playoff berth in franchise history.
Walsh started 11 games that year, resulting in a 6-5 record, as he threw for 1,970 yards with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Hebert returned to the starting lineup in 1991, but Walsh still started 7 games during the year, posting a 3-4 record while throwing for 1,638 yards, 6 interceptions and a team high 11 touchdown passes.
After limited action as a backup over the next two years, the Saints released Walsh after the 1993 season. He went on to one season as a starter in Chicago, followed by stints with three other teams before the end of his playing career in 1999. Walsh had a career record of 10-9 with the Saints, throwing for a total of 3,879 yards, with 25 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions.
Toby Gowin (P, 2000-2002)
The Saints signed Gowin as a free agent away from the Dallas Cowboys in 2000. He averaged 41.3 yards per punt in his three years with the team, ranking in the league's top 10 all 3 seasons. He left New Orleans after the 2002 season to re-join Dallas, finishing his career with the Jets in 2004.
Todd Bouman (QB, 2003-2005)
The Saints acquired Bouman in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings in 2003, in exchange for a 6th round pick. He spent his first two years in New Orleans backing up starter Aaron Brooks, before getting an opportunity to start the last 3 games of the 2005 season. Bouman went 0-3 in those starts, throwing for 722 yards with 2 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He was released after the season, and went on to serve as the backup for multiple teams until the end of his career in 2010.
Ryan Griffin (QB, 2013-2014)
Griffin had set multiple passing records as a four-year starter at Tulane University before the Saints signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2013. After competing with Luke McCown for the backup job behind Drew Brees, Griffin was relegated to the practice squad, but was promoted to the active roster early in the season, where he remained as the 3rd quarterback for most of the year. Griffin was again moved to the practice squad in 2014, after failing to win the No. 2 quarterback spot away from McCown.
When New Orleans drafted Garrett Grayson with a 3rd round pick in 2015, Griffin's only chance for a roster spot was to beat out McCown yet again. Despite perhaps his best preseason performance with the team, the Saints decided to move on from the athletic Griffin, releasing him in the final cut-down of the preseason. He then signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he has remained since, and in 2017 is in competition for the Bucs' No. 2 job behind Jameis Winston.
Other Saints players to wear No. 4: Mike Cofer (1987), Klaus Wilmsmeyer (1995-96), Billy Cundiff (2006), Glenn Pakulak (2008), Brandon Fields (2015)
Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 4?
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