In the NFL, if you have a franchise QB, you typically can build a successful team around the QB to be competitive in the NFL. On the other hand, even if you have a talented team, if you don’t have an elite QB, it’s hard to make a run deep in the postseason.
When the Saints signed Drew Brees before the 2006 season, both were eyeing a rebound. Brees was recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in the 2006 playoffs with the San Diego Chargers, and the Saints had been a road team throughout the entire 2005 season due to Hurricane Katrina.
But the Saints made a triumphant return to the Superdome, and Brees became the best quarterback—and perhaps the most important player—in franchise history.
The Saints went from 3-13 to 10-6 in Brees’ first season with the Saints, which was also head coach Sean Payton’s first season. The two have been joined at the hip ever since.
Payton and Brees presided over the franchise’s lone Super Bowl win at the end of the 2009 season. Within Payton’s multidimensional offenses, Brees has become one of the most efficient and prolific quarterbacks in NFL history.
From 2006 through 2017, he holds the league marks for passing attempts, completions, completion percentage, passing yards and touchdown passes. Tom Brady is the only quarterback who has a higher passer rating than Brees’ 99.6 among those who have played for that entire span of time.
Moreover, Brees has been involved in the community for years through his Brees Dream Foundation. Both on and off the field, he’s tied himself to his team and his town in ways few other players have.
But if you want to see what could have happened to the New Orleans franchise if Brees never came to the Saints, check out this video: