New Orleans Saints: Archie Manning

There was a lot of talk across the sports universe Wednesday about Mount Rushmore -- at least the NBA's version, thanks to a prediction by superstar LeBron James that he would one day earn a spot on the fictional mountain.

So it seems as good a time as ever to bring up a question that pops up from time to time: Who belongs on the New Orleans Saints' version of Mount Rushmore?

I think quarterback Drew Brees and linebacker Rickey Jackson are "set in stone." Then I'd go with coach Sean Payton and quarterback Archie Manning -- barely ahead of offensive tackle Willie Roaf and running back Deuce McAllister.

There are other candidates who might be worth considering -- owner Tom Benson, general manager Mickey Loomis, kicker Morten Andersen, linebacker Sam Mills -- especially if the mountain adds another wing. But I think the top six are a cut above.

From there, it probably depends on your criteria. Should it be a sampling of different eras? Of different positions? If so, then maybe you have to choose between Payton and Brees or choose between Brees and Manning.

Roaf is hard to leave out, since he's one of only two Hall of Famers in Saints history (along with Jackson). And Roaf, Jackson and Manning were the three initial members selected for the Saints' new Ring of Honor last year.

But I only had room for four -- which leaves plenty of room for second-guessing.

Saints unveil Ring of Honor tonight

November, 10, 2013
11/10/13
8:20
PM ET
NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Saints will officially unveil their Ring of Honor during halftime of tonight's game against the Dallas Cowboys. As previously announced, their inaugural class will be made up of quarterback Archie Manning, linebacker Rickey Jackson and offensive tackle Willie Roaf.

“Our three honorees are outstanding people,” Saints owner Tom Benson said in a pregame press conference. “I can't say enough about having had the pleasure of being here with Rickey and Willie, and I followed Archie throughout his great times here. New Orleans is very fortunate to have these people. ...

“We're going to put them on the Ring of Honor tonight in memory forever.”

The class was chosen by a panel made up of team ownership, front office administrators, selected former Saints players and selected members of the media.

The first trio wasn't too difficult to choose. Jackson and Roaf are the only two Pro Football Hall of Famers who spent a large portion of their careers with the Saints. And Manning was a tremendously popular quarterback from 1971-‘75 and ‘77-'82, who earned two trips to the Pro Bowl and was recognized as the NFC's Offensive Player of the Year by multiple outlets in 1978.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis had a great line while introducing Manning -- joking about a term that has become very popular in today's NFL lexicon.

“He was an elite quarterback before we ever used the term elite,” Loomis said. “If he played today, he would be an elite quarterback.”

Some highlights from each of the honorees:

Manning: “All my nights in the Superdome weren't always memorable and my afternoons weren't always great. But I'll always remember this night, I promise you that. It's really special. It's special to me, it's special to my family.”

Jackson: “I put the Saints right up there with the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is something that you're proud to have. But the Saints, me being here in New Orleans, I just thank Mr. Benson for the things he did for the city -- keeping the Saints here, that was a big task right there. So I take my hat off to Mr. Benson.”

Roaf: “I'm just so grateful I got a chance to play close to home and my family and friends. A lot of them are here right now and it's going to be great tonight -- especially after we get through beating the Cowboys."
METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints announced that quarterback Archie Manning, linebacker Rickey Jackson and offensive tackle Willie Roaf will be the first three members inducted into their Ring of Honor. The Saints will recognize the inaugural class of 2013 during halftime of their Week 10 Sunday night game against the Dallas Cowboys in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The class was chosen by a panel made up of team ownership, front office administrators, selected former Saints players and selected members of the media.

The first trio wasn’t too difficult to choose. Jackson and Roaf are the only two Pro Football Hall of Famers who spent a large portion of their careers with the Saints. And Manning was a tremendously popular quarterback from 1971-‘75 and ‘77-’82, who earned two trips to the Pro Bowl and was recognized as the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Year by multiple outlets in 1978.

“We are excited to induct the deserving members of the Class of 2013 and allow our fans an opportunity to honor the efforts and contributions that these men have made to our franchise,” Saints owner Tom Benson said in a statement. “It is fitting to honor three of the greatest players in our franchise’s rich history in Archie, Rickey and Willie.”

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