Today in NFC South history

On this date in 2006, perhaps the most significant signing in NFC South history occurred.

The New Orleans Saints signed free-agent quarterback Drew Brees (here’s a picture from that news conference).

The Saints were taking a huge leap of faith. Brees was coming off a major shoulder injury. The San Diego Chargers didn’t want Brees back. Miami was the only other team showing much interest in Brees, and the Dolphins’ doctors had serious concerns that the shoulder would heal properly.

At the time, the Saints and New Orleans were trying to recover from Hurricane Katrina. They rolled the dice on Brees and the results have been spectacular.

Brees has led the Saints to a Super Bowl championship and an unprecedented era of sustained success. Off the field, Brees also played an important role in New Orleans’ recovery from the storm.

You can say definitively that Brees was the best free-agent signing in NFC South history. Heck, he might even be the best free-agent signing in NFL history.