When Drew Brees was selected by the San Diego Chargers during the draft of 2001, we were instant fans. While he was here he was a great guy in the community and played like a future hall of famer. I remember how excited everyone was that we passed up Vick (still happy about that) and that we also picked up another future hall of fame player in LT.
Brees did nothing but impress, even after Rivers was drafted in 2004 and rumors swirled that he would be replaced by the rookie. Those rumors came true at the end of the 2005 season. At the beginning of the season Brees was made a franchise player for the Chargers as he posted a career high in passing yards with 3,576. Brees also posted an 89.2 rating, 10th best in the NFL. However, in the last game of the 2005 season against the Broncos, Brees tore his labrum while trying to pick up his own fumble.
Brees had surgery in his right shoulder on January 5, 2006. After the surgery AJ Smith did not have faith in Brees and extended an offensive 5-year, $50 million contract that paid $2 million in base salary the first year and the rest heavily based on performance incentives. Based on that, Brees shopped around and then signed a 6-year, $60 million deal with the Saints on March 14, 2006.
His success with the Saints is fairy tale stuff. Breaking records, winning Super Bowls and helping a community heal after great tragedy. That continued last night when he broke Dan Marino’s record. It was Brees final pass of the game and it gave him 5,087 yards passing. As Sproles (another former Charger) spiked the ball, Brees put his arm over his head and started walking toward midfield while the Superdome crowd went wild and his teammates chased him down.
I was teary eyed. Not only for his accomplishments but for where the Chargers could be today. Way to go Drew!