Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
Let's be very clear and say that I'm just thinking out loud here and not reporting there's any talks going on or saying this is going to happen.
With the retirement of weak-side linebacker Dan Morgan on Monday afternoon, the Saints might be looking for more depth. Sitting out there is Brooks, who just might be one of the greatest outside linebackers ever.
Brooks has been sitting out there for months, presumably waiting for the perfect situation. It hasn't presented itself so far, but there might not ever be another situation better for Brooks. Yeah, he's 36, but he's indicated he still thinks he can play.
The Saints are a team with a win-now attitude, as demonstrated by the acquisitions of Jonathan Vilma and Jeremy Shockey last year and the signing of veteran safety Darren Sharper this year. They're not in a youth movement and they've got enough cap room to handle Brooks, who shouldn't command huge money.
Also, the Saints aren't exactly loaded at linebacker these days. Morgan is gone and rookie Stanley Arnoux is out for the year with an injury. That leaves Scott Shanle as the starter on the weak side. Veteran Mark Simoneau, who has spent much of his career at middle linebacker, got some work as Shanle's backup after Morgan went down in the rookie minicamp.
Even at his age, I think Brooks could play a role here, maybe even start. Even if he was pondering retirement, Brooks has to look at what just happened to the Saints and view it as a possibility. The Saints are loaded on offense, have a rebuilt defense with potential and could be a contender to go deep into the playoffs.
They're also in the NFC South. That could be more of a factor than anything else. Brooks is a man with a lot of pride and he wasn't exactly thrilled when the Bucs unceremoniously released him in February.
From Brooks' point of view, this could be a chance at payback -- twice a year.