The New Orleans Saints combat the l. a. Chargers Monday night during a matchup between the 2 franchises that have had Drew Brees as a starting quarterback. The veteran passer are going to be the main target of a matchup between a Saints team that has reportedly suspended star wide receiver Michael Thomas for punching a teammate and a Chargers team that’s working during a rookie quarterback in Justin Herbert.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints (Monday Night Football Week 5)
Start time: 8:15 p.m. EST
TV channel: ESPN
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — For perhaps the ultimate time, Saints record-setting quarterback Drew Brees is close to look out on the road of scrimmage at uniforms emblazoned with the lightning bolt logo of the team that drafted him.
The Chargers (1-3), who visit New Orleans (2-2) on Monday night, essentially cut Brees loose by offering him a low-risk, incentive-laden contract extension on the heels of the quarterback’s shoulder injury at the top of the 2005 season. To Brees, a 2001 second-round draft detect of Purdue, the offer was a flippant invitation to buy around for something else.
New Orleans stepped in with a six-year, $60 million offer — a deal that on reflection seems like one among the best free-agent signings in NFL history for Saints head Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton.
What went on within the 14-plus seasons since can only leave the Chargers and their fans to wonder what may need been if more of an attempt had been made to retain Brees.
“When i used to be drafted by the Chargers back in ’01, it had been my hope, my plan, to be the franchise quarterback there for my whole career,” Brees said in the week .
But Brees, now 41 and in his 20th season, has no reason to linger over how things could have played out had he remained in Southern California. His synergy with Payton has produced a number of the foremost prolific offensive football the NFL has ever seen. Brees won an excellent Bowl and have become the all-time leader in completions (6,959), yards (78,442) and touchdowns (555) united history.
Of that, 5,834 completions, 66,074 yards and 475 TDs have accompany the Saints’ fleur-de-lis on his helmet.
And the civic-minded Brees also was ready to take satisfaction from accomplishing such feats — and focusing charitable efforts — during a football-loving community because it rebuilt from widespread destruction cause by Hurricane Katrina but a year before he arrived.
Not that Brees, while trying to find a replacement club, had necessarily envisioned himself moving to a community that was an image of devastation and playing under a then-rookie coach for a team coming off a 3-13 campaign.
“There was some divine intervention there, I believe, and it brought me here to, probably then, one among the last places that I ever thought i might find yourself — in New Orleans and with the Saints,” Brees recalled. “And yet, once you check out the last 15 years, here with Sean Payton, then many others, that’s the way it had been alleged to be.”
In Brees’ previous 14 seasons with the Saints, they need advanced to the playoffs eight times, including three trips to the NFC championship.
New Orleans led the NFL in total offense sixfold , finished within the top five in five other seasons, and has never ranked worse than ninth during that span.
Younger players in New Orleans , like fourth-year back Alvin Kamara, see Brees as synonymous with the Saints and hardly remember his stint with the Chargers, who were then based in San Diego .
“Everybody knows Drew Brees for the Saints. Watching him was amazing, but twiddling with him, like, you see why he’s as decorated and talked about as he’s ,” Kamara said.
Even as a professional who this season went through a protracted contract negotiation himself, Kamara wondered how another club could have given abreast of Brees.
“I mean, it’s business but … that’s not a business choice i might have made,” Kamara said. “I’m proud of how it happened, because, shoot, who knows who i might are twiddling with . I’m happy I’m twiddling with Drew Brees.”
Brees has played against the Chargers 3 times since moving to New Orleans . The Saints have won all three meetings.
This time are going to be a touch different because the quarterback who replaced Brees with the Chargers in 2006, Philip Rivers, is gone, having signed with Indianapolis. Now the Chargers have a rookie quarterback in Justin Herbert, who was 7 years old when Brees played his last game for the franchise.
Not one active Chargers player was within the NFL when Brees moved to New Orleans . The coaching staff and front office are different. And in 2017, the team moved a few of hours north to l. a. .
Still, Brees won’t deny there’s a sentimental element to playing against the Chargers.
“Probably a touch bit. i assume I’d lie if I’d say it wasn’t, but obviously that was an extended time ago,” Brees said. “Hard to believe that that was 15 years ago. But I certainly value the memories there and therefore the guys who I had an opportunity to play with, and therefore the coaches who I had an opportunity to play with, because that molded me and shaped me during a lot of the way . And it really helped me in my journey.